Programs within programs

Programs within programs
After the 2 formats published in the last Friday’s Espresso, I’d like to point out another couple presented at the recent MipCom. Their peculiarity is that both are “programs within programs”.
The first one is Koso Koso, co-developed by BBC Studios, Nippon TV and Asia-based content incubator Empire of Arkadia (EOA).
This “wacky” Japanese comedy gameshow sees celebrity secret agents prank unsuspecting contestants to win a cash prize. The contestants think they are in a reality show, unaware of the secret squad of celebrity agents constantly observing their every move. The agents must skillfully complete ridiculous missions without arousing suspicion to win cash for the clueless contestants.
This way, there are 2 levels of storytelling: the “fake” reality of the contestants, and the “real” game of the celebrities that must interact with them without being spotted.
The second one is the British The Underdog, produced by Primal Media & Motion Content Group, distributed by All3Media International and commissioned by E4.
This also is a “fake” reality format, where a group of participants believe they are competing in a popularity contest set in a unique environment, with “underdog” Alan amongst them.
However, living secretly next door is a group of reality show celebrities who are playing their own game to manipulate everything to make sure that the underdog wins. Alan is deliberately set up as the antithesis of typical reality show contestants in order to make his successes all the more baffling to the other participants.
“The celebrities act as ‘producers’, so they have the ability to control key elements of the contestants’ world, not least the confession room interactions, which allow them to know what every player is secretly thinking” says Primal Media’s Mat Steiner, executive producer on the series.
“Programs within programs”, as we said, with unaware participant and a scheme that reminds of the “classical” The Joe Schmo Show (see Friday’s Espresso 26th), which in turn has the iconic movie The Truman Show (1998) as ancestor.
To read the other 2 articles about a brand-new Israeli/Ukrainian cooking show and a game where everything is Upside Down go to
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