The Unscripted Market - The 10 global trends of the year. Written by Axel Fiacco

The Unscripted Market - The 10 global trends of the year. Written by Axel Fiacco
The Fabrique des Formats, the French accelerator for audiovisual and digital innovation in formats, held an online masterclass on Wednesday 3rd July, led by unscripted specialist Axel Fiacco, entitled "The unscripted market - The 10 global trends of the year".
The presentation used the innovative “3-Tier Trends” methodology, which gave the audience the opportunity to see the key unscripted trends from September 2023 in a 'dynamic' rather than 'static' way. In fact, all the trends considered were not on the same level, but were divided into 3 "tiers", which were: STRONG & MATURE, the strongest and most current trends of the year; READY TO BLAST, hot topics that are not yet mainstream but are likely to become so very soon; and PROMISING NOVELTIES, trends that are more recent, in their very early stages, but also very promising. In this way, trends are 'in perspective', giving a more complete and realistic view of the global landscape.
The first ‘tier’ (STRONG&MATURE) includes, first of all, the most widespread trend at international level: the REBOOT trend. It's a fact that there have never been so many reboots in the history of television, and it's a trend that has spread all over the world, with many different "historical" and "classic" formats, some of them revived after years (and sometimes decades) of hiatus. Another trend is called INTO THE WILDERNESS, which includes formats (such as Spain's El Conquistador, the Netherlands' The Life Trail, and many others) that take participants to wild places (jungle, mountain, ocean, ice...) to push them to their limits in different ways and for different purposes. Finally, the third trend is STRANGELOVE, which explores love in all its forms, without limits or filters, with something special, unusual or even extreme and provocative: in the American Couple To Throuple, couples look for a third; in Forbidden Love, four couples in love deal with the one big obstacle that complicates their relationships, religion; and in the upcoming Virgin Island, a bunch of hot virgins look for 'the one' and maybe lose their virginity.

In the second 'tier' (READY TO BLAST) we find the trend of BIG, BIG GAMES, i.e. studio-based game shows, but with something 'big' and highly spectacular (lots of contestants, impressive set builders, big props...). It's a trend that has developed mainly as a result of the success of The 1% Club and The Floor, and includes formats such as Mental Master, Qui Restera Dans la Lumière? and others. The second trend is FROM SCRIPTED TO UNSCRIPTED, i.e. turning a film, scripted series or franchise into an unscripted format, as in the case of 007 Road to a Million and Squid Game: The Challenge, which are unscripted adaptations of the 007 films (with all the trials taking place in the same locations as the films) and Squid Game (which was easy enough as it was a game-based fiction). The third trend is PSYCHO FORMATS, i.e. formats with a "psychological" twist: the contestants have to use their intuition to discover the traitors/saboteurs within a team, or who has the money or the power, or who's lying... It's a trend that has grown mainly due to the success of The Traitors, one of the most important formats in recent years, which is based on this principle (discovering traitors). The last trend in this level is TRAV-FOOD, i.e. formats that combine travel shows and food to create new experiences, discover new places, new dishes, etc. It's a trend that's particularly strong in Anglo-Saxon markets (see 12 Dishes in 12 Hours and Around The World in 80 Weighs, for example), but that can easily be exported all over the world.

The first trend of the third “tier” (PROMISING NOVELTIES) is the phenomenon of TELE-DIGITALISATION, which includes "hybrid" formats between the traditional and online worlds, such as the YouTube edition of the classic British game The Chase. But the most interesting case is the recently announced partnership between Amazon's Prime Video and MrBeast (who has over 245 million subscribers to his YouTube channel): together they will produce "the biggest reality competition series ever" with "the biggest single prize in the history of television and streaming": Beast Games - that's the title of the show - will see 1,000 contestants compete for a $5 million cash prize. The second trend is MUSIC FOR NEW GENERATIONS: formats that use contemporary musical languages and practices (rap, downloading...) to attract younger audiences. It is particularly popular in Latin countries (although the main pillar of this genre is Rhythm + Flow on Netflix US), but also in this case it can be exported worldwide, as urban music is a truly universal language. And finally, the tenth trend is AI FORMATS: formats that use artificial intelligence in different ways and at different levels, such as the 2 Spanish "virtual hosts" (really impactful), created with AI tools: Alba Renai and Amaia Zai.

The presentation will also take place in Italian on Wednesday 25th September at 18.30, see info and link: