Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reality TV & Branding

I was recently asked to evaluate a treatment for a reality TV series.

Many writers and producers come up with good ideas for reality shows, but there is a key component they don't realize they need, and it is essential when trying to sell a show -- which is you must attach a significant element. Without the auspices of having a renowned expert or celebrated personality in the field, the idea will be too generic, in that many people can come up with an idea. It’s the auspice that you can attach that distinguishes your project and becomes the tipping point to get buyers’ (i.e. network, cable, etc.) attention. "America's Next Top Model" sold because the producer attached Victoria Super Model, Tyra Banks. "Project Runway" had the auspices of another Uber Super Model, Heidi Klum. Without these well-known celebrities, the shows would not have sold.

Other ways to make your project stand out is to use on-line media. You can work on generating a buzz by creating a digital series, filming individuals with compelling stories, and putting them on youtube. If you are able to develop a following, you might be able to attract network and cable interest, as well as a sponsor, especially if there are products and brands that tie in with your show. Another possibility is to create a blog or use Twitter. Examples include "Julie and Julia" which started out as a blog, became a book and then was optioned by a top Hollywood producer and turned into the blockbuster film with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. "Sh*t My Dad Says" started out as a bunch of tweets and developed a huge following as well, eventually gaining the attention of a production company which in turn sold the project as a series to CBS. While the series ultimately did not succeed, it turned the Tweeter into a millionaire.

I hope the above provides useful information. If I can be helpful in providing further insider tips and strategies to advance your projects, please feel free to contact me. 310-994-3258

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