Anyone at MIPTV could not have failed to notice the huge banner promoting Global Agency’s Bring Your Fame Back, and featuring US president Donald Trump. Global Agency chief Izzet Pinto says: “Our motto has always been ‘content that creates buzz’. In order to create buzz with this format, we decided to use the world’s most famous person, who is of course Donald Trump.
“In order to fit him properly in our artwork, we needed to show him as if he had lost all his fame and needed to attend our show to bring his fame back. In order to add more humour, we showed him as a street singer in Mexico which contradicts his position. The ad campaign was probably the most talked about during Mip which made us very happy.”
Applying a new twist to any unscripted genre is a tough ask for creative executives and Global Agency’s response in Bring Your Fame Back has been to blend a variety of existing staples and the format is a mix of singing competition, reality and gameshow.
“The inspiration came when I noticed there were many celebrities who want to be famous again,” says Pinto. “However, if they were just put in a regular singing format it wouldn’t really be challenging for them and wouldn’t give them the right platform. I decided to mix that knowledge with a gameshow.”
The resulting shiny-floor format sees formerly-famous songsters competing by performing hits, with the aim being to remain in the top eight at the end of each episode, which in Turkey will run to between 90 and 120 minutes.
The twist comes in a pair of judging panels, which operate in good cop-bad cop format and comprise musicians and music executives. “The jury really has a unique role,” says Pinto.
The contestants then vote, with the bottom four presented to a studio audience, who decide on one to be saved. The kind juror also saves a singer, before the nasty judge eliminates one of the remaining two, while the winner receives a cash prize.
The reality elements come from stories about the stars’ careers and lives since fame, while there are also gameshow elements.
Pinto says sourcing the forgotten pop stars is relatively straightforward for a decent casting director.
“Most singers are really trying to be famous again – you can see from their social media accounts and their interactions with their fans,” he says. “These are stars from the 80s, 90s and 2000s, from bands and talent shows. There are hundreds of them.”
Pinto contacted a number of such people in Turkey, and found that “they desperately wanted to do the show”, as it would “make them famous again right away”.
Istanbul-based distributor Global Agency had a Turkey-shot pilot at MIPFormats on April 2 in Cannes, giving buyers a first chance to assess whether they will give their nation’s forgotten music heroes another chance.
Pinto says deals are in the offing in the wake of MIPTV. “Especially Europe showed great interest. I expect to see several editions of it by the end of the year. Italy could be the first country to broadcast since we have five buyers interested from this territory. Germany, Spain and South Africa could follow.”
The show: Bring Your Fame Back
The producer: Global Agency
The distributor: Global Agency
The concept: Reality singing competition including reality and gameshow elements in which former popstars attempt to reclaim their fame