Next season on the box? Cheap and light TV

6th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

In game shows, sitcoms, comedy shows and fiction, the watchword worldwide for the upcoming season is entertainment.

Paris -- Cash-strapped couch potatoes forced to stay in thanks to the global economic crisis next season will be dished up platters of light, low-cost entertainment as TV networks chase rare advertising revenue.

In game shows, sitcoms, comedy shows and fiction, the watchword worldwide for the upcoming 2009-2010 season is entertainment, according to data released Tuesday by media specialists Eurodata TV Worldwide.

"Entertainment is the big winner," said its research head Amandine Cassi. "We mean entertainment with a big 'E' that transcends genres".

As producers seek to hit a wide audience at the least cost, "both content and budgets will be light," added Pascal Josephe of International Media Consultants Associes.

Topping the programme will be low-budget game shows aimed at "people from seven to 77 which turn a good profit against investment for the networks."

Drawing inspiration from hard times is the latest trend in some of the shows.

Britain's Undercover Boss reality show from Channel 4 sees a company boss become a worker, while the network's soap I'm Running Sainsbury's propels the staff to the top.

In tougher spirit, Germany's Kabel 1 reality show Job Duell pits four contestants against each other for a single available job.

Addressing popular concerns about obesity, US reality show Dance Your Ass Off takes a light-hearted approach with a dancing contest that features "full-figured" contestants doing anything from hip hop to pole dancing, but who must lose weight to win.

Germany's 5 Gegen Jauch meanwhile reworks an old money-spinning favourite, with the host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire playing against five candidates to stop them taking home the winnings.

Keeping TV addicts laughing through tough times is also flavour of the day, with a bunch of funny news shows such as Britain's You Have Been Watching, Australia's Network 10, The 7 pm project, or Network 7's Double Take.

Even in fiction, comedy pays off, with the best of the new bunch possibly Hung on the US pay-TV channel HBO.

It is the story of a former high school sports hero turned basketball coach whose life is on the slide and who decides to exploit his best and biggest asset to become a gigolo and change his life.

And among shows that take a voyeuristic peek at the darker side of life is the BBC docu-soap My Big Decision in which viewers for five days follow young women who are deciding whether or not to have an abortion.

Marie-Dominique Follain/AFP/Expatica

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