US producer-distributor Electus has created a new international coproduction model for unscripted programmes dubbed ‘6/26’.
The practice is the brainchild of Electus worldwide television and international president John Pollak, and is aimed at secured multi-episode orders.
The processs sees four broadcasters – Australia’s Nine Network, France’s TF1, Germany’s Nito (part of RTL Germany) and Nordics-based MTG – coming together as a ‘sales coalition’.
Pollak and Electus will oversaw a sales process in which each broadcaster will hear pitches from US and international producers, with the ambition that each commits to equally co-funding an initial six episodes straight-to-series.
Any subsequent series pick up would automatically trigger an order of 26 new episodes, though Electus said each broadcaster would main “maintain some leeway to tailor the up-order to their specific needs”.
The copro agreements will see Electus, the producer and broadcasters sharing in the backend revenues from distribution in other territories, including to the US networks.
The innovative model apes the 10/90 model that FX, Lionsgate Television and Debmar Mercury pioneered in 2013.
This saw a ten-part sitcom from George Lopez guaranteed another 90 provided ratings hit targets. This would mean the series hitting 100 episodes – the threshold at which point it would be made available for syndication.
Pollak, who was recently upped to worldwide TV chief at Electus, described 26/6 as a “huge ‘win-win-win’”.
“As producers continue navigating this challenging media environment, we’re all looking at new ways to create and sell content,” he said. “At the same time, international broadcasters – which Electus International knows so well through our longstanding distribution business – want direct access to the best producers in the US and around the world.
“By putting these two groups together in a shared copro model, we offer international commissioners original stories, characters and worlds they would only get from US and independent productions, while guaranteeing producers significant volume in a straight-to-series model.”
Electus is best known for series including Running Wild with Bear Grylls for NBC and The CW’s Jane the Virgin.
THE DEAL IN QUOTES
Michael Healy, Nine Network’s director of television: “Nine Network Australia is excited to have the opportunity to be part of the strong alliance of leading international broadcasters brought together by Electus and to work with this group to develop, produce and broadcast new formats and titles.”
Jakob Mejlhede, MTG’s executive VP and head of programming and content development: “Our viewers have an appetite for more factual programs across our channels and streaming services. Being part of this unscripted co-production model, where Electus is channelling creative ideas and MTG, together with partners, shares the investment and ownership in new series, is a great complement to the wide array of high-quality programs we today produce ourselves or acquire from leading international studios.”
Oliver Schablitzki, EVP of Nitro: “This alliance with strong partners from all around the globe is a bold move within the highly competitive non-scripted market. Its mission is nothing less than finding the next hit in factual entertainment.”
Julien Degroote, head of non-scripted commissioning and format development at TF1 Group: “We are thrilled to jump into this new adventure with a trustful company as Electus. TV is all about passion and creativity. We will try to contribute to it by working with impressive international broadcasters.”