KYIV MEDIA WEEK – DNA of International Formats


Justin Scroggie to deliver a keynote ‘Revealing the DNA of international formats’, Sept 17 at KYIV MEDIA WEEK.


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Justin Scroggie is delivering a keynote speech at the KYIV MEDIA WEEK in September.
For the keynote Justin will reveal 8 key ‘building blocks’ that creator-producers need in our constantly evolving business, in order to build the ‘DNA’ of international appeal into local formats at the development stage.

Justin Scroggie a.k.a. The Format Doctor is a BAFTA-award winning global content specialist, format creator and trainer with nearly 30 years’ experience in the industry. In 2009 Justin and partner Michel Rodrigue founded The Format People – an international consultancy of over 20 top industry professionals.

‘At a time when borders are becoming barriers, and countries are looking inwards more than outwards, it has never been more important for television to bring different people together through what we share – what we laugh at, binge on, dissect on social media or around the water cooler’, – says Justin.

Creating high-quality formats that reflect, inform and entertain society, sending them out into the world, and helping creators, producers and broadcasters to do the same, is what Justin does.

Come and find out how at the keynote ‘Revealing the DNA of international formats’, which will take place on the first day of KYIV MEDIA WEEK (September 17) from 15:10 to 15:50.

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Format Doctor keynote at CPH TV Festival 2018



CPH logo 2018.png‘Reboot’ is the buzzword for dusting off old hit shows and remaking them, the cyber-reference somehow implying that they have been reinvented for the Millennial generation

The US, UK and many other countries are awash with Reboots, as broadcasters attempt to ‘de-risk’ output by attempting to recapture the old magic – and ratings – of former favourites.

From scripted to gameshows, reality to talk, no genre is safe from the Reboot phenomenon.

But does this tactic work? Format Doctor Justin Scroggie will argue that many Reboots find themselves reborn into a scarcely recognizable world for which they are unprepared.

Tech has changed the viewer/screen relationship, which is shorter and longer, more demanding and more emotional. By contrast, the latest onscreen talent may be too ironic, too self-referential to host an old format. Contestants are more central to the action, more savvy about production, more interested in building their own brand, whilst viewers have become consumers who prefer crowd-sourcing opinion to deferring to professionals. The production methods and facilities that once supported old shows are often no longer available.

In this session, Justin applies his trademark forensic style to identify what has changed, how as a creator, producer or broadcaster you need to respond to these changes (whether your show is a Reboot or not), and ultimately asks whether Reboots are the answer – or the problem.

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OYE AL CHEF! Chef In Your Ear launches in Mexico



Now we are 9!  Oye Al Chef, the Mexican adaptation of hit international format “Chef In Your Ear” and a co-production between Imagen Televisión and Discovery Home & Health, launched in June 2018 on both screens.

“At Imagen, we are proud to make this format with a partner that is so akin to us in values, as Discovery is. This new production strengthens our commitment to the audience to offer programs with a fresher, disruptive and attractive twist for the whole family,” Juan Pablo Matarredona, Entertainment director at Imagen Televisión, has said.

According to Jorge Murillo, Advertising Sales VP at Discovery Networks Mexico, this is the first time that a format allows “both creative teams to develop proposals for our clients, both in open and in pay TV, the digital platform of each one, and the guarantee of a format that connects with different audience groups.”

Presented by Carlos Arenas, and produced by Litopos Productions, Oye Al Chef sees two professional chefs, not allowed in the kitchen, having to prepare, cook and present a dish of gourmet quality against the clock, through a rookie they give instructions to via an earpiece.


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Chef In Your Ear Mongolia renewed for Season 2



Ulaanbaatar May 2018

The Mongolian adaptation of our hit culinary format “Chef in your Ear” which launched in primetime on network NTV last November, has been quickly recommissioned for a second season.

Hosted by director and screenwriter A.Miyegombo, the series features a mix of ordinary people and celebrities, as well as top Mongolian chefs including G.Tengis, Sh.Erdenekhuu, P.Ganbat, B.Ariunbileg, G.Temulun and G.Mungundolgio.




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Michel Hosts K-Formats at LA Screenings


For third year running, the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) presented their K Formats at the LA Screenings in Los Angeles.

The 90-minute Screening Showcase of 10 unscripted formats was presented by Michel Rodrigue (CEO of The Format People) from screeners provided by the top 5 Korean Broadcasters – KBS, MBC, SBS, CJ E&M, and JTBC.

k format contributorsFollowing the screening, Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) and the 5 Korean Broadcasters hosted a meet and greet networking cocktail reception at 5:00pm.

Among the dramas presented were: Live (CJ E&M/Studio Dragon), Misty (JTBC), Good Doctor (KBS), Money Flower (MBC) and Return (SBS). As for unscripted formats: Love at First Song (CJ E&M/Studio Dragon), Crime Scene (JTBC), Top Band (KBS), The King of Mask Singer (MBC) and The Traveler’s Guide to My Room (SBS).

“We are presenting the ten most successful dramas and non-scripted formats from Korea and we hope that they will be as successful in the United States. We think Latin America is a very important market and we hope to be able place some of our content there soon,” commented Chul Min Kim, director of KOCCA USA.

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FORMATS A-Z kicks off for MNET SA


Creative Development training for MNET and independent producers

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The Format People are bringing their unique FORMATS A-Z training course to South Africa, courtesy of cable network MNET.  In the first recently completed Module, Creative Development, five TFP consultants shared their expertise with commissioning editors and producers.

“The word I’ve been getting back from our people here is ‘life-changing’”

Leading gameshow STUART MCUcreator Stuart Shawcross revealed ways he finds inspiration and methods he uses to create.  He deconstructed one of his own format ‘devices’, before taking delegates through different devices used on TV recently.

Stuart unpacked his development process, including the need for testing, and recording and analysing data at every stage. He went on to share his gameshow pitch methods, from run-throughs, playing a game ‘in the room’, to the verbal pitch, and explained how he casts development teams.”

TFP CCO and ‘Format Doctor’ Justin Scroggie shared his unique ‘Grid’ system for turning original programme ideas into a strong narrative  IMG_6961structure that define the essential elements of a format.

He went on to share his template for an ideal Treatment, with examples of his own and other’s work, and explained the difference between a treatment, a deck and a Bible.  In his final session, Justin demonstrated 10 key ways for creators to build the ‘DNA’ of international appeal into local formats at development stage.

“The speakers have each given us a different piece of the puzzle, and the results are mind-blowing”


TFP CEO Michel Rodrigue, a former distributor and a founder of the formats industry, used Justin’s 10 DNA points above to open a round-table discussion with local producers, asking what makes one format appeal to the market and another fail to, and what specific challenges South Africa faces. In a second discussion, Michel was joined by commissioning editors and local producers to ask how to protect the IP in the development of your format.  During a lively debate panellists and delegates questioned how to retain ownership, or share in it a way that is equitable, and how to maximise the income IP has the potential to deliver.

Back in 2009, Justin created the culinary format “Chef In Your Ear”.  Six years later, “Chef In your Ear” came to air on Food Network Canada, and has since been adapted in 8 more territories to date. In this session, Justin and his partner Michel use the journey of “Chef” from first idea to the latest adaptation in Mexico to illustrate 20 valuable lessons learnt along the way, that creators, producers and broadcasters can use in their own work.

SEAN GROUPEx-Director of Content for FremantleMedia Asia, Sean Kneale has mentored many big series including “Asia’s Got Talent”, “Indian Idol” and “X Factor Indonesia”.  Using anecdotes and case studies Sean shared his top 10 takeaways for developing, creating and big returning formats.  Sean went to discuss the benefits of testing formats before recording starts, showing how investing time and money in testing improves quality and saves studio time and money.

“I’m sitting here like a sponge, absorbing everything, it’s been so valuable”

In his final session, Sean demonstrated how formats with falling ratings can benefit from comedy, using genuinely funny people to write scripts, and training in-house talent “to be funny”.



“Thanks so much, it’s been incredible, a brain stimulator and a confidence booster!”

As non-Executive Director of international trends consultancy K7 Media, Gary Carter explored trends influencing the development of entertainment formats internationally, from dominant global societal themes, and trends in technology, to overarching directions in formats.   Across 2 sessions, Gary used his career with Fremantle and Endemol Shine developing and selling formats in the international market (he sold “Big Brother” to MNET) to explore the skills of pitching TV ideas, while developing your own unique style.







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TFP return to Seoul to train JTBC!

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The Format People recently returned once more to South Korea, this time to work with and train teams from nationwide cable TV network and broadcasting company JTBC.

Gary Carter (formerly COO Fremantle Media and CEO international operations Endemol Shine, now non-executive Director of research consultancy K7 Media), examined the present – and future – of trends outside and inside TV, in order to inspire content producers, and guide broadcasters and distributors.  Gary applied his trademark forensic approach to the advent of new platforms and new viewing habits, and examined their impact on the content and business of the TV formats industry. He also explored practical approaches to value assessment, brand planning and commercialisation of TV IP.

TFP CCO and Format Doctor Justin Scroggie, shared with delegates his unique proven ‘Grid’ system for turning an original programme idea into a strong narrative structure that defines the essential elements of the format. Justin went on to demonstrate 10 key ways for creator-producers to build the ‘DNA’ of international appeal into local formats at the development stage – the same 10 questions an international buyer applies to your format.

TFP CEO Michel Rodrigue, himself a former formats distributor and one of the founders of the formats industry, uses Justin’s 10 key points above as a springboard to open up a round-table discussion including local producers and senior representatives of JTBC. Michel went on to reveal the secrets to writing a strong and effective format bible, that is a practical workable manual, a clear Style Guide and a detailed description of the format to be used in a court of law. Finally, Michel examined the key players in distribution, and the nature of the new business models evolving to meet the demands of the marketplace, and offers an insider’s view of the top TV markets.

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GOOD DEAL, BAD DEAL – the Art of Negotiation

Following last year’s successful ‘thought-bubble’ presentation on pitching, Michel and Justin are returning to the Palais and MIPFormats to share their insights into the art of negotiating deals, with GOOD DEAL, BAD DEAL.

Once again, the Format People partners will present a series of entertaining sketches and lessons, using their signature style of a dialogue between 2 people, with ‘thought-bubbles’ above their heads revealing what they are really thinking!

The formats business is … a business, whether creative types think so or not. And if your format starts to gain traction, then someone is going to have to make a deal. But is it a good deal or a bad one? Who should make the deal, how fair is fair, how do you stop going number blind, what are the most common mistakes, and why should everyone be a little bit unhappy at signature?

Find out from the professionals Sunday 8th April, 9.45 am – Audi A.


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