Paramount Domestic Television has signed up Jonathan Goodson Productions to develop reality series for syndication.
Goodson Productions, of past strips Forgive or Forget and Housecalls, has partnered with Scandinavia's Strix Television to find the best formats for these reality projects. Strix is behind Expedition: Robinson, which is the predecessor to Mark Burnett's Survivor franchise in the U.S. In fact, Strix is a paid consultant on the CBS series.
Possible formats Paramount might consider include The Bar, where cameras follow real people trying to operate a neighborhood bar - a concept that Strix has been shopping around for awhile to U.S. broadcast/cable outlets (B&C issue 11/27). Greg Meidel, Paramount's programming chief, said he'll be looking to create weekly and strip reality series, but didn't give details beyond that.
While syndicators have been producing reality shows for years (i.e. game, talk and court shows), there have been few moves so far into event reality TV. But considering recent break-out reality successes like this summer's Fear Factor, it makes sense that syndicators would want to get in on this genre. Columbia TriStar's Shipmates, launching Aug. 27, will be one of the first guinea pigs in this area. - Susanne Ault