Distraction reaps strike benefit

Formats distributor Distraction has inked five option deals with major US networks since the start of the writer’s strike for its catalogue of reality and game shows.

This highlights the impact that the Writers’ Guild of America’s (WGA) industrial action is having on the terrestrial broadcasters, who are desperately searching for unscripted programming to fill their schedules.

Distraction has inked deals for gameshows Ciao Darwin, and Guess Who and reality formats TV Diaries and You Be The Judge.

Michel Rodrigue, president and CEO, said: "Since the second week of the strike we’ve signed up four or five option deals and we’re developing these reality and gameshows really quickly."

The company has also inked a deal with Time Warner-owned producer New Line for gameshow DNA. "They’re big guys, mostly with scripted programming, but also looking for other things," he added.

Distraction has also had some success with its recently created production arm, which was launched in October and is headed by former Disney format exec Kirsten Calteau. It signed a deal with an as-yet-undisclosed French broadcaster to produce scripted format Serial Frank, a comedy format that follows the ins and outs of the life of an average man in his 20s.

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