Operation Live, The Desert highlight ITV Studios’ spring formats slate

ITV Studios has rolled out a slate of new formats including The Garden’s Operation Live, Talpa survival show The Desert and Twofour’s undercover series Secret Teacher.

The producer-distributor kicked off UK Screenings week today (15 February) with its annual Formats Festival, which welcomed more than 200 international buyers.

ITV Studios-backed producers presenting at the showcase include The Garden, Possessed, 12 Yard and Boom, all of whom discussed key titles such as Operation LiveCatchpoint and The Chamber.

The Garden executive producer Ninder Billing revealed that Operation Live, one of ITV Studios’ top priorities out of UK Screenings, has been greenlit for a second series by UK broadcaster Channel 5, where it will TX in a few months.

The live operation show delves into the operating rooms of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and The Royal London Hospitals of Barts Health NHS Trust. Each evening, audiences follow along with operations that are performed live.

Other titles presented include Shiver’s All Star Musicals, Boom’s €5k Wedding Challenge, Big Talk Productions’ The Imitation Game, Little Gem’s The Hangover Games and ITV Studios France’s The Most Beautiful Bride.

Talpa’s offerings include DanceSing, The Desert and Minor Problems, while Twofour’s formats are Beat The Chef and Secret Teacher.

Mike Beale, MD for Nordics and Global Creative Network for ITV Studios, said: “From Operation Live, which brings a whole new level of access to surgeons and the operating table, to The Chamber, a unique new physical game show filmed underground, our new spring slate includes exciting new shows tackling their genres in innovative new ways.

“Our Formats Festival enables us to get a head start with buyers on our new shows launching across the year, while also reminding them of the continued success of our existing hits performing in markets around the world, such as Love Island and I’m A Celebrity. It allows for greater context and valuable insight, and gets conversations started in earnest ahead of MIPTV and other global markets over the next few months.”

The complete list of Spring 2019 formats presented is below, with descriptions provided by ITV:

Possessed and 12 Yard co-production for BBC One

A big, physical game in which you don’t always have to be correct to win – you just have to be close enough to dropping balls to catch them. Two teams of two answer a series of picture questions to build up their money bank. Every question has 10 possible answers, each represented by an image on a giant LED screen. Suspended above the screen is a mechanism that will release a giant ball with the correct answer. Each ball caught adds money to the bank. All the players have to stand in front of the image showing what they hope to be the correct answer. If they are right, the ball will simply drop into their hands but, if they’re wrong, they still have the opportunity to dash, dive or leap to catch it from wherever it falls. The closer they are to the correct answer, the easier it is to reach the falling ball. Full of unique, visual questions, nail-biting tension and hilarious fun.

Boom for S4C

The world’s first underground game show thrusts everyday people into a subterranean world. Each episode sees two teams take on four different levels designed to test fitness, brainpower and bravery. The aim of the game is to be the first team to reach the bottom of the chamber and escape, in a race against time to crack the code before the power – and the chamber itself – shut down. With a fully-functioning international hub in Wales, based in a disused Victorian mine, The Chamber delivers a ready-made opportunity for cost-effective, family entertainment.

The Garden for Channel 5

For the first time ever, the life-changing work of doctors and surgeons is captured for live broadcast, bringing emotional weight and tension to the audience in real time. From open heart surgery to a replacement knee operation, a surgical team goes through every moment. The host observes from a distance, accompanied by a medical expert who can take the audience through each incision and difficult decision.

Shiver for ITV

Seven famous faces step out of their comfort zones to compete in an all-singing, all-dancing, musical theatre experience. The celebrity cast is taken through its paces by expert mentors, who will help each individual channel their inner diva before they perform their own fully choreographed routine, re-enacting performances in front of a packed theatre and viewers at home. It’s up to the audience to crown their winner.

Boom for S4C

One happy couple hands over the plans for their big day to their friends and family – they know what they want for their dream wedding but can’t afford the price tag. Their friends and family are going to step in to help. But do they really know what the couple is hoping for, and will they be able to deliver it within a €5,000 budget? Assisted by a duo of presenters, wedding organisers must knock on doors and pick up the phone to barter, beg and rely on community spirit in order to deliver the perfect day. All the while, the couple are oblivious to the preparations, and it is only at the big reveal on the day itself that they truly see the time, effort and love that has gone into every detail.

Little Gem for E4

A new comedy entertainment show that sees a group of friends being surprised by a pop-up gameshow in which they must complete a series of outrageous challenges and games – all whilst hungover. Each episode visits a new town and challenges a group of friends to show the nation how they like to party. But our partygoers are in for a rude awakening the next morning when our cheeky host surprises them with an invite to our studio to take part in hilarious games all based on what happened the night before. Encouraged by our rowdy studio audience, they’ll take on stomach-churning, mind-bending challenges, all for the chance to win a cash prize for the team.

Big Talk Productions for ITV

How do you cast a comedy game show guaranteed to star everyone from Donald Trump to Björk, from Britney Spears to Angela Merkel? This new panel show finds actors, comedians and impersonators compete in a series of fast-paced games and challenges all based on impressions. From topical satire to musical comedy, The Imitation Game has countless witty contests to put celebrity-sound-alikes to the test.

ITV Studios France for TF1

Four brides rate every element of each other’s perfect wedding look – from hair and make-up, to accessories and of course ‘the dress’, but only one bride can win her dream outfit. They can observe their competitors as they prepare their look for the big day, scoring each element of the style, but only in the final ‘Magic Mirror’ reveal will each see the full transformation. Extravagant princess dress or minimalist gown, sequinned stilettos or rebellious sneakers – which look will win them the title of the most beautiful bride?



DanceSing is a new talent show for all-round superstars. It seeks out talents who can both sing and dance at the highest level. Talents must crush both auditions to advance to the hardest bootcamp ever seen on TV, where they will be living under one roof and working hard to remain in this knock-out competition. Only four talents will make it to the final, where they have to give a once in a lifetime mini-concert under extreme conditions. Which superstar will be able to impress our expert judges and win the ultimate career kick-off with one of the world’s most renowned music producers?


In The Desert, competitors are taken away from the urban jungle and placed in the heart of the world’s most unforgiving environment: the desert. Split into teams and guided by survival experts, they must make this harsh environment their home. Weekly boot camps and tests will lead to eliminations, where the losing team will have to vote a team member off the show. Eventually both teams merge into one, and it will be everyone for themselves. After 100 days, the two remaining finalists will compete in an epic three-day solitary race through the desert. The Desert is a transformational journey of self-discovery that will test the competitors’ determination and physical strength.


Talpa’s newest dramedy series follows four families with opposite methods of parenting. Despite their social and cultural differences, the families are connected and often face common problems because they all raise teenagers. Social media, peer pressure, drugs, sex – the social pressure to be the perfect parent when it comes to raising their adolescents is relatable to many people.



The new cookery competition gameshow format finds home cooks going head-to-head against top chefs in fast-paced cook-offs to win a £10,000 cash prize. Across a series of five challenges, one accomplished amateur must cook up a storm to try and win over members of a tasting jury who blind taste the dishes. Each round is a gastronomic gamble as every vote is worth money. If they cook well, they climb up the money ladder and ‘beat the chef’, but lose, and they walk away with nothing. With all the jeopardy of a cooking competition and drama of a money ladder game show, it promises to be a compelling culinary experience.


Successful business owners – all of whom struggled at school – want to give others the helping hand they never had so they’re going undercover as school support staff. Each episode will focus on a new member of support staff joining a different state secondary school in a variety of locations across the country – unbeknownst to the students and nearly all the staff who will have no idea just who the new member of the team is. From the nerves that come with stepping into a rowdy classroom for the first time, to overseeing detention and working with those students who need extra support, the entrepreneurs gradually identify which of the students they want to help before revealing their identity in what could be a life-changing finale.



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