France’s TF1 joins Media Ranch’s Horsepower 3.0 format initiative

Sophie Ferron

French broadcaster TF1 has joined the third edition of format project Horsepower, the incubation initiative from Canadian producer and distributor Media Ranch.

Season one and two partners Media Ranch and Quebecor Content will also be joined for Horsepower 3.0 by format accelerator La Fabrique Des Formats.

The annual initiative is aimed at creating exportable unscripted TV formats from French Canada. Participants are tasked with developing an original format, which they will have the opportunity to pitch to Quebecor Content and its various channels, as well as TF1. As part of the mentorship, participants are paired with experienced format creators.

Phil Kalin-Hajdu, Media Ranch’s head of content & storytelling, will provide mentorship support for the project with input from the company’s founder and president Sophie Ferron, as well as Amsterdam-based SVP, Tanja van der Goes.

The winning format will receive co-development funding from Quebecor Content and TF1 and Media Ranch will manage production and global distribution. Formats created by remaining candidates may also be developed and distributed.

Horsepower 3.0 is now seeking candidates from within Quebec, with submissions accepted until 28 February and the four-month incubation process to begin on 15 March. The aim is that by the end of the process, there will be eight new exportable unscripted formats ready for distribution.

Last year’s Horsepower 2.0 winner, the dating format Heartbreak Hotel, created by Isabelle Laperrière, was acquired by SBS Korea-owned FormatEast for Asian development and distribution, while Quebecor Content is also co-developing Heartbreak Hotel with Media Ranch for Canada.

“Media Ranch is known as the go-to company for content creators and producers, attracting and fostering the best talent in the world. Our Horsepower initiative gives the chance to people outside the industry to get into the door,” commented Kalin-Hajdu.

Media Ranch recently expandied its development and sales team with several new hires, including veteran format producer David Schiff.

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