Two Words with Sandra Lehner and her thoughts about 2023 TV Trends

Two Words with Sandra Lehner and her thoughts about 2023 TV Trends
Social Media Marketing Manager Sandra Lehner talked to Formatbiz about Innovation Trends 2023 and TOP 5 Predictions, as we step into the new year, it's important to reflext on innovation trends.

What are your predictions in 2023?
First of all, I predicted more branded streaming partnerships. However, what I didn’t predict was that a branded film would become the film of the year and put everything else in the shade. If I just say ‘pink’, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
The Greta Gerwig comedy Barbie has earned $1.44 billion at the worldwide box office and now ranks as the highest-grossing release of 2023. Internationally, the film earned millions from over 75 markets to bring its foreign gross to a sizzling $805.6 million – according to statista. Therefore, it's no surprise that Barbie has won the inaugural Outstanding Cinematic and Box Office Achievement Award at the Golden Globes on Sunday night and it also received the most nominations at the 81st Golden Globes overall this year, with nine in total.
When it comes to brand partnerships, Barbie was also this year’s winner in that category. According to reports, Mattel inked more than 100 brand partnerships ahead of its premiere. Pink was the colour of the summer 2023 – from Barbie Crocs shoes over the AirBnB Malibu Dreamhouse (my personal favorite) to a Pink Burger by Burger King. I can say that 2024 will see more Branded Streaming Partnerships.  I would like to mention the McDonald’s x Emily in Paris Partnership. I absolutely loved this partnership, because the brand was part of the storyline and that’s what makes for great Branded Entertainment.
The show’s lead character Emily works for the luxury French ad agency Savoir. Season 3 saw Emily fight to win a McDonald’s account to promote the McBaguette in France. To accompany the show, McDonald’s was running a competition for fans of the show to win a Baguette ’It Bag’, which features in the storyline. The fast food chain has also created a bespoke Emily in Paris menu in its French franchises, with the McBaguette available as a meal deal with a hot chocolate and raspberry macaroons.
As mentioned in my predictions last year, Branded Entertainment deals include not only financial advantages, but also advantages in terms of reaching new audiences. And Barbie definitely showed us that a 64-old-doll can excite new generations of women - and men.

What are the most important genres?
Dark Comedy,  was the Genre of 2023. Looking at Parrot Analytics’ Top 10 In-Demand Genres of 2023 TV series, I was right with Dark, but not so much with Comedy (
“Apocalyptic” and “dystopian” were the top TV genres with The Last of Us, co-created by Neil Druckmann, who co-created the video game, and Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) being one of the best and most in-demand TV shows last year. But probably, the TV show of the year (once again) was HBO’s Succession. Succession stood out as something unique, powerful, and important. “Connor's Wedding,” the third episode of its final season, is 62 minutes of the finest television ever produced, with some people instantly declaring it the greatest TV episode of all time.

Finally the big topic will be once again AI
AI was definitely the buzzword of 2023. And yes, it created TV shows, too.  At MIPCOM, Virginia from The WIT presented German AI show Me & Myself in which an 87-year-old famous comedian meets a younger version of himself with the help of AI. The host interviews both the younger and the current versions at the same time.
Another AI show that was mentioned at MIPCOM’s Fresh TV was The Connected Set’s Are They for Real? It’s a closed-episode, studio-based guessing game where one single man (or woman) has to separate the real human from a group of attractive digital AI humanoids that are virtually indistinguishable from real humans.
But that’s not it with AI, yet. Banijay even revealed an AI Creative Fund in 2023, a new opportunity for producers and labels across Banijay’s 21 territories to showcase ideas with technology and innovation at their heart.
James Townley, Chief Content Officer, Development at Banijay said in the press release: “We’re extremely passionate about innovation, and this latest AI Creative Fund will empower our producers across the footprint to create new formats which embrace tech, whether that be central to the show, or redefining the production process. We’re in a new era of technology and innovation, and while human creativity will always prevail, it’s important to work alongside the tools which are available to contribute to the future of ground-breaking entertainment.”
If you wanna dive more into the AI topic, I’ve written two articles about it last year. One about how AI is literally changing the face of Hollywood and one about navigating the copyright issues posed by AI.

To know more about the 5 Top Trend go to TV Futurist Substack | Sandra Lehner | Substack