With the onset of summer comes the onslaught of nonscripted programs. And if there’s one production company whose output overshadows the rest, it is Endemol.
In June, the Dutch content supplier adds two new assets to its roster: ABC’s stunt competition show Wipeout and NBC’s Celebrity Circus. Other series include Fear Factor, Big Brother and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
But of all its programs, Endemol’s most successful show may well be Deal or No Deal, which is produced in more than 60 countries, and airs in more than 120. On May 14, NBC wraps up a three-episode special edition of the show titled Deal Around the World, in which stateside broadcasts were filmed on sets located outside the U.S., first in the Philippines, then in Estonia, and finally in South Africa. Although the sweeps stunt was conceived to prop up declining ratings (it hasn’t worked that well), it also served to showcase the program’s global reach.
There are downsides to being big, acknowledged Endemol USA president David Goldberg, “if the scope of your company prevents you from being nimble and acting quickly.” But he added, ” That has not happened to us. There just aren’t a lot of layers in the management structure, so we’re able to get answers fast and adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace.”
As Goldberg looks ahead to what’s next in non-scripted, he has noticed an overabundance of product. “We’re seeing a lot of fatigue at the networks, where you pitch something and they’ve heard it a million times before,” he said. ” We don’t want to be that company. We want to be the company that when we come in the door, you sense that this is different, that we’re trying to tackle new ground, and because of our track record, you’re willing to take a chance.”