ITV Studios’ director of international formats Mike Beale describes Boom Town as “a structured reality sketch show”. While that might sound contradictory, the show comes from Jonathan Stadlen, the British executive behind Pineapple Dance Studios, who is an expert of finding unusual platforms for unusual characters. Just as Pineapple launched dancer Louis Spence’s career, ITV Studios Global Entertainment hope buyers will be taken by Boom Town’s eccentric mix of personalities.
“When we first heard about it we weren’t sure but once we’d see it we knew it was so different to anything else. Knickerbockerglory does so many reality shows and come across so many characters and they’ve managed to find a platform for them,” says ITVS’ Beale.
“A lot of these characters might not sustain a series on their own so Jonathan put them in one show. But the characters are all absolutely real, even though when you see them you really have to sustain your disbelief,” he adds.
The format sees the live of the characters, who include an enthusiastic trainspotter, an everyday superhero and a bored househusband, shot in documentary form but cut into short snippets as if a sketch series. Fake road signs and landscape shots are added in to heighten the sense the characters come from the titular Boom Town.
As a hybrid format, buyers will want to know where the show will fit into schedules. “My thinking is it would gear more toward a comedy slot but it’s important to understand you’re not laughing at the characters, as that’s not the point of the show,” Beale says.
The show: Boom Town
The producer: Knickerbockerglory
The distributor: ITV Studios Global Entertainment
The broadcasters: BBC3
Concept: A structured reality format that’s cut as if all the characters are performing in a sketch show set in the titular but entirely made-up town