ABC Studios picks up French format

ABC Studios is to produce a US version of French comedy format Don’t Do This, Don’t Do That after striking a deal with Swedish formats owner Sparks Network.

Sparks sold the format rights to the series, known in France as Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ca, following a bidding war with the major Hollywood studios.

Fredrik Malmborg, managing director at Sparks Network, told TBIvision: "We had a bidding war for it in the States with four studios, which is quite unique for a European format."

The show, which is an Office-style look at the lives of two families, is produced in France by local indie Elephant & Cie for France 2. It has just been ordered for a second season, where it will move from access primetime to primetime.

Malmborg says that the success of shows such as The Office, as well as projects such as Life on Mars, has increased demand for scripted programmes in the States. "Maybe they see the value of having a show with a track record," he adds.

The deal was brokered by Promofilm, the US Hispanic arm of Spanish producer Imagina, which is a client of Sparks, and US talent agency ICM.

Bob Kushnell, co-executive producer of ABC comedy Samantha Who?, will adapt the format.

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