Two Words with All3Media SVP North America Jennifer Askin

Two Words with All3Media SVP North America Jennifer Askin

All3 Media International SVP North America Jennifer Askin talked to Formatbiz about the success of evergreen format Cash Cab. 

It’s exciting to see Cash Cab’s returning to screens in North America. Can you share an overview of recent launches in your territories?
It’s been fantastic to see Cash Cab travelling so well in North America! AXS, Anthem’s music programming channel has really embraced the brand with the launch of a new version of the format Cash Cab Music. This is an all-new, all-music offshoot that follows long-time host of Cash Cab Canada, Adam Growe surprise unassuming passengers only to discover they’re instant contestants in a music trivia game show on wheels. Adam tests their musical knowledge, and just like the original series, every correct answer wins money – every wrong answer earns a strike – and like baseball, three strikes, and they’re out. In Cash Cab Music there’s an exciting new element – if contestants make it to their destination, they can double their winnings and sing for their money on ‘Cash Cab Karaoke’. Prior to this launch AXS also acquired Castlewood’s Canadian version last year from our catalogue, to drive their audience towards engagement with the Cash Cab brand.

Additionally in North America Noovo rebooted version, TAXI PAYANT: L'ESCOUADE for French Canada. The series had previously been on air on the same network for 9 years as a weekly series, and was rebooted as a daily, demonstrating the commissioners faith in the popularity of the brand.

What’s especially exciting with both these new versions is how they have evolved the brand. Cash Cab Music is obviously a musical twist on the original general knowledge trivia, whilst Noovo’s versions has changed to daily show, and features 4 hosts of the series. These new versions exemplify how adaptable the format is whilst ensuring the fast pace, quick fire quiz structure and engaging hosts – all set in a taxi- mean it remains inherently entertaining.

Please could you share a brief overview of the Cash Cab format?-
The format, created by Lion TV in 2005 in the United Kingdom follows unsuspecting members of the public climbing into an apparently normal taxicab, only to find themselves on national television, with a chance to win a small fortune!

Since its launch on ITV, UK in 2005, Cash Cab has become one of the top 10 most travelled quiz shows in the world. 9,000 episodes have been produced worldwide in more than 50 countries including the US, France, Australia and Thailand, and last year brand new adaptations of Cash Cab launched in Canada (French), Germany, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Vietnam. It’s also an award winning format with multiple versions winning prestigious awards including the Israeli Academy Awards and the Asian Television Awards. The original US version, which aired on Discovery, is multi-award winning won six Day Time Emmys and aired for over 400 episodes.

What is it that about the format that make it such an evergreen yet adaptable brand ?
Ultimately the two key concepts of Cash Cab- taxis and trivia - are such globally recognisable, timeless concepts that almost anyone can engage with. It’s light-hearted, feel-good fun that offers hugely entertaining viewing and is efficient and simple to produce and brilliantly easy to play along to.
Cash Cab Music has made us think about what other variations of the format there could be. We’ve seen it used as a great vehicle for celebrities, and Cash Cab offers great opportunities for an additional twist and social amplification. It’s flexible to schedule and has already been successfully adapted to suit a great variety of broadcaster requirements including primetime, access prime, weekend and daily slots.