Warner Bros acquires True Story with Hamish & Andy format

True Story with Hamish & Andy will be launched at the annual MIPCOM conference in Cannes, in partnership with The Warner Bros and Radio Karate.

TV and radio personalities Hamish Blake and Andy Lee announced the news at a press briefing during Nine’s upfronts last night, saying their show will be one of four formats international distribution company Warner Bros will take to the entertainment content market next week.

Blake and Lee revealed the news at Nine’s upfronts last night

“Warner Brothers’ television international distribution team had been touch with us really early in regards to True Story as a format and we announce today that they are going to take it to MIP (Mipcom),” Lee said.

“They’ve got the tapes as well as the formats. It’s been really interesting since we started the show and the first little promo, there’s been a lot of different countries that reached out.”

The show, which topped the TV ratings on its debut with 1.282m metro viewers, delivered strong audiences for Nine throughout the season.

Last night Nine confirmed Hamish & Andy would return for a second series of 10 episodes.

“The reason why we went with them is because they really spoke to the core things about the show we love – hero-ing the everyday person,” added Lee. “They really understood the format and that’s what kind of made it the obvious choice in the end for them to go out to market next week.”

Blake said while they have been approached by Swedish production houses and large companies like Warner Bros, the final decision came down to the company’s “huge reach” and passion for the program.

Those who buy the format will have the ability to keep the format as is but will do their own research and find local stories. Lee and Blake confirmed they had recommended the show have no more than two hosts.

Andrew Zein, senior vice president creative, format development and sales for Warners Bros International TV Distribution is confident in the programs offering: “We’re thrilled that the team at Radio Karate have partnered with us to bring ‘True Story With…’ to international buyers and commissioners. We’re confident that there are thousands of great stories out there and this format is a unique way of giving them a chance to shine.”

Blake said the duo will be involved “as much or as little” as they want.

“We’ll obviously be helping them shape the idea and helping people get their head around the idea, but we would obviously not be hosting any non-English formats,” Blake said.

“So happy to be involved but at the same time very happy to let whoever buys it make it their own.”

Asked whether any countries had shown large interest as of yet, Lee was reluctant to say any with confidence but did not there was interest from Germany and the Netherlands when the show originally launched.

True Story with Hamish & Andy’s first season delivered strong audience for Nine

“I’m not sure and the strange thing about this deal is it’s kind of like we’ve picked the real estate agent and they still have to sell the house,” Lee said.

“Let’s hope its as good a market as real-estate,” joked Blake.

Asked whether they would be open to hosting globally, the duo said absolutely, but admitted that was several hurdles down the track.

Blake added: “Probably the other elephant in the room obviously is because its Warner Bros, Andy always talks about wanting to become Batman. It is a step in the right direction, they do hold the rights to Batman.

“It’s an interesting tactic Andy’s taken, I’m just along for the ride, let’s see if we can take this all the way to Gotham city.”

But Blake and Lee said despite they fact they are leaving Hit radio network this year, they won’t be gone from radio forever.

Blake told Mumbrella: “The whole forever thing just keeps getting added by other people. We won’t be doing it next year or for the foreseeable future but I’m 35, and so far we’ve only found out one and a half things we’re good at so we certainly wouldn’t be ruling it out.”

The comments come the same week as Hit network’s announcement of the duo’s replacements – Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes and Kate Langbroek.


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