Real Appeal

Docuseries, reality shows and one-off documentaries are hot commodities for broadcasters looking to fill factual slots across Europe.

Brexit, the refugee crisis, fears of the European Union coming apart and political instability have many in the region feeling on edge these days. And in these times of uncertainty, factual content that educates and entertains is, perhaps, more important than ever.

Programs that provide opportunities for family viewing are finding success in CEE. Melanie Torres, the director of international content sales at GRB Entertainment, says the fan-favorite Auction Kings and one of its newest launches, Super Fan Builds, work well because “both are general, easy-viewing type shows that the entire family can sit around and watch.” She has found that programs with volume always do better in terms of sales, especially in “regions like CEE, where they might not pay as high license fees as Western Europe.” Thus, the company has had success with the long-running crime series On the Case and the docuseries Untold Stories of the ER.

According to GRB’s Torres, it’s important to have factual titles that are not too American-centric and that appeal to a general audience. She points to Arabia Motors, a new addition to the company’s catalog that follows the partners behind an automotive magazine in the Middle East, as a show that has broad appeal.

Sometimes broadcasters prefer to make local formats of factual shows. Torres notes that she receives requests to format shows in GRB’s catalog, especially when it comes to cooking series like Recipe Rehab. She says buyers find that culinary programs work better when they are localized because “every region has different seasonings, different ingredients, and so a cooking show from the U.S. might not speak to an audience in Hungary.”

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