SA firm sells TV format to U.S. producer

2010-05-08 00:00

THE South African reality show Thumb Wars which was broadcast on SABC2 last year, has been snapped up by the executive producer of the shows Ugly Betty, The Office and The Biggest Loser.

Created by Stimulii, the rights to the concept were bought by Ben Silverman at MIPTV, the television market held in Cannes, France, recently. It’s the first time a South African company has sold a TV format to the U.S. market.

Samantha Moon, director of Stimulii, said that originally Thumb Wars was broadcast as an advertiser-funded programme, as a solution to a problem. “Vodacom was looking for a product placement platform to showcase its technologies, and since none existed that could fully integrate the cellular technology, we created a format that could,” she added.

It’s a model that the rest of the world seems to be keen on exploring. Interest from a further 20 international territories has been shown in the format, with some looking to acquire the existing 10 South African episodes.

Thumb Wars will be co-produced in the U.S. by Silverman’s new company Electus and Engine Entertainment.

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