Format People keynote at Content Academy: Formats 360



The Format People are partnering with the C21 Content Academy.  In a major keynote for the Academy’s Formats 360 workshop in November 2018, Justin Scroggie will address the impact of the social and technological change over the past 5 years, how it has influenced the way we consume content and in particular, how it has shaped the format world.

FORMATS 360  is a three-day workshop and conference dedicated to providing formats professionals with a total immersion event that helps them take their global formats business to the next level.

FORMATS 360 provides a deep dive into the creative and commercial imperatives of developing winning formats for the global audience. Leading experts spend time developing approach and strategy with specific focus on the formats brought to the course.




Posted in News | Comments closed

Chef In Your Ear reaches 10 Territories



October 2018:  Hit cooking entertainment format CHEF IN YOUR EAR is celebrating its 10th international adaptation with CHEF AO PE DO OUVIDO!, filmed this summer in Sao Paolo, and due on air on GNT in 2019.

CHEF IN YOUR EAR, originally created by Justin Scroggie of The Format People, and produced first for the Food Network Canada in 2015, has spread through local adaptation across the globe – first to Quebec, and then on to Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, South Korea, Mongolia, Mexico – and now Brazil.



In each stand-alone episode of CHEF IN YOUR EAR, two top Chefs compete in studio to create a restaurant-quality dish in just 1 hour.  The catch?  They’re not allowed in the kitchen, but must each direct a complete culinary novice via an earpiece to do all the preparation, cooking and plating. The final results are judged by a food professional, who pronounces one team the winner.

“The great thing about CHEF IN YOUR EAR is you can describe it in just a few words, and people get it straight away” says The Format People’s CEO Michel Rodrigue.  “And they always smile when they do!”

“And it’s incredibly flexible,” he adds.

Rodrigue reveals that adaptations of CHEF IN YOUR EAR have been positioned across the schedule, from daytime to access primetime, though it is typically a primetime show.  It has been broadcast weekly, stripped daily, and has featured both celebrities and teenagers as the hapless Novices.

As a format, CHEF can sit anywhere on the factual to entertainment spectrum.  And through localised hosts, chefs, novices, recipes and ingredients, the format naturally adapts to new a territory whilst retaining its strong narrative structure.

“CHEF IN YOUR EAR is a fun game full of take-home content,” says Justin Scroggie, who will be with Michel at MIPCOM this autumn to present a raft of new ‘cleverly simple’ formats to buyers.

“But the best part,” Scroggie continues, “is seeing the realization on the faces of people who genuinely think they can’t cook, when they look down at the final plate and say, Oh my God, I just made that. It’s priceless and inspiring.”

CHEF IN YOUR EAR is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros International, except for Asia where Singapore-based Bomanbridge Media are the format distributors.

“We have really enjoyed distributing this Format across the region”, says Sonia Fleck, CEO of Bomanbridge Media. “Channels such as NBCU’s Diva aired it pan regionally, A+E Network18 picked it up in India, with further local versions on CJ E&M in South Korea, as well as Mongol TV Mongolia. We are excited to announce further deals from SouthEAst Asia soon, which demonstrate once again it’s continued strength in audience appreciation,”

Posted in News | Comments closed

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.


kyiv logo for website


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.

Posted in News | Comments closed

Format Doctor reboots at CPH 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.

Posted in News | Comments closed

OYE AL CHEF! 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.


Posted in News | Comments closed

Chef In Your Ear Mongolia Season 3!



Ulaanbaatar OCTOBER 2018

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




Posted in News | Comments closed

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.

Posted in News | Comments closed



Creative Development training for MNET and independent producers

mnet CU GROUP LISTENING for website


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.







Posted in News | Comments closed