Television Business International

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Show of the Week: The Big Picture

The Big Picture is an interactive format created by Israeli creator and magician Nimrod Harel, which sees contestants answer multiple-choice questions based on pictures projected through a massive 20-foot screen in order to win a big cash prize.

If they cannot answer a question, producers then go to a randomly selected viewer at home who has been playing along via a dedicated app. This person becomes the contestant’s partner, and any winnings are shared between them. The studio contestant also has the opportunity to freeze out their play-along partner by gambling on an all-or-nothing question.

Israeli producer A Cappella owns the format and recently teamed with Talpa Global, which will be selling it internationally. The Voice producer and distributor specialises in creating and selling its own shows, but took the unusual step of striking a third-party deal for The Big Picture because of its experience with other shows with strong digital components, such as Utopia and What Do I Know?

Talpa recently merged its sales and digital operations to enable it to bring both commercial and technical expertise to its content and that sales and digital nous will help both sell The Big Picture and execute its roll out, according to Talpa Global managing director Maarten Meijs.

“A Capella approached us because they recognised the experience we have in selling formats and extending brands to other platforms,” Meijs says. “We have the necessary production and creative skills and also the digital knowledge because The Big Picture has a lot of technical aspects.”

The technical aspects involve seamlessly integrating the live play-along experience via the app with the pre-recorded studio component of the show.

A Cappella is the prodco formed by former Channel 10 programming bosses Einat Shamir and Tal Shaked launched in 2012. “We see this as the next generation of studio-based gameshows,” Shaked told TBI earlier this year. “It combines pictures with live participation of the audience at home.”

She added: “We feel there is a drift; one the one hand, scripted is getting stronger and stronger and on the other, it feel like there is desire for nostalgic, family-viewing television and this format answers those needs.”

The producers hope the app will drive viewing, especially among younger millennial viewers, as it is effectively a ‘ticket to a cash prize’. “There are other examples of play-along , but this goes one step further becaue you play live at home and participate live onscreen and can win a prize,” Meijs says.

Talpa will be selling The Big Picture as a big primetime format that can take on the likes of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The first deals for format will be announced soon.

The show: The Big Picture
The producer: A Cappella
The distributor: Talpa Global
The concept: Players use a giant screen to answer picture questions while viewers play along at home