Distributor: Hat Trick International
Producer: Hat Trick Productions
Channel: ITV (UK)
Concept: A football comedy quiz show testing fan knowledge
Bolstered by England’s performance in the World Cup, football is back in the UK in a big way –if it was ever gone, that is. ITV’s logic is that regardless of how seriously people take the game, there’s a lighter side to the sport that has mainstream appeal.
Enter Football Genius, which will see two teams of football fans led by captains Paul Sinha – known to audiences from The Chase – and Olympic Gold medalist Sam Quek competing against each other across a virtual pitch, proving their football knowledge in hopes of taking home a trophy.
“No matter how seriously people take the game of football – and millions of fans are absolutely passionate about it – there is a funny side to the game that everyone enjoys,” explains Sarah Tong, director of sales for Hat Trick International.
It’s a proper quiz, requiring proper football knowledge but when someone gets an easy question wrong, they won’t get away without a bit of playful humiliation.
“It’s a proper quiz, requiring proper football knowledge but when someone gets an easy question wrong, they won’t get away without a bit of playful humiliation.”
The talent fronting the format is key, says Tong, noting that comedian Tim Vine was selected for the ITV show because he appeals to a wide audience – not just ardent football fans.
Not all the questions are at ‘genius’ level, either. “The managers have to choose what level of question the teams must answer and sometimes they choose easy questions, which anyone who has a smattering of football knowledge should know.”
Tong hopes to sell the format into any territories in which football is a major part of the local culture, meaning Football Genius could potentially travel into Europe, Africa and South America, to name just a few territories.