An Australian version of the Dutch format Celebrity Splash was among the highlights of Seven West Media’s upfront presentations in Sydney last night.
The reality show, which features celebrities competing in diving competitions to be judged by a panel of professional divers, was at the centre of an international bidding war at the TV sales market MIPCOM recently.
Other new locally produced programs expected in the new year include House Rules, a home renovation program from the makers of My Kitchen Rules which will see teams from each state hand over the keys to their home to competing teams of renovators.
A surprising local production is the return of The Mole which Seven last aired in 2005. The reworked format titled The Mole: Culture Clash will see contestants from different socio-economic backgrounds compete to uncover a mole in their midst.
One notable local production is A Place To Call Home, the Bevan Lee created series set in 1950s Australia.
Seven executives Tim Worner, Don Voelte, Kurt Burnette and Adam Elliot revealed the network’s schedule for the new year to an audience of media agency executives.
Worner told those present: “We are all marketers in this room and my goal is to grow market share. The way we grow that is with great shows.”
Seven also unveiled several new overseas shows including Red Widow, a drama starring Australian actress Radha Mitchell written by the screenwriter of the Twilight series, being earmarked as “the next Revenge”. Seven plans to launch the series off the back of the 2013 summer of tennis – a move which saw the premiere of Revenge bring in more than 2m viewers in February this year.
Submarine thriller, Last Resort, and another US drama Hour Zero also feature on the schedule.
Also announced was the rebranding of the group’s integrated sales unit from SMG Red to just Red, dropping SMG from the title.
Another announcement was Red Fusion, an audience response measurement tool combining Neuro-Insight, Bam, the Seven West Database and Yahoo!7 data.
Seven sales boss Kurt Burnette also revealed an addition to Fango, the network’s social media companion app. In an attempt to maximize advertiser reach, Fango will offer audio syncing where users watching Seven programs will see ads automatically come to life on their tablet devices.
A bold call will be Seven’s attempt to hand over partial control of the long time soap Home and Away to its audience. “Fans will have input into storyline development by social media,” Burnette said.