TV game shows explore a kinder, gentler side

Television game shows in which contestants try to win big money for themselves are giving way to more altruistic shows that focus on helping others, TV industry experts say.

"Anonymous contestants winning huge amounts of money on TV could be on the way out," Dick de Rijk, the creator of the "Deal Or No Deal" show that has aired in 150 markets, said at the MIPFormats event that preceded the annual MIPTV audiovisual entertainment trade show underway in Cannes this week.

"We need involvement with the viewer more than ever before," said de Rijk, as he unveiled his latest show, "You Deserve It", which aims to show how it is better to give than to receive.

In "You Deserve It", contestants play on behalf of a relative, friend or acquaintance that is experiencing a really tough time after losing their job, going through a divorce of facing costly medical treatment.

But that person also has no idea they might receive cash that could change their life for ever.

"You Deserve It" has already been snapped up to be piloted on US network ABC.

Virginia Mouseler, who heads a television tracking and research agency, The Wit Report, agreed with De Rijk's forecast of a shift to a more feel-good approach to programming.

"The trend now is all about surviving after the severe financial crisis and helping others," Mouseler told AFP.

On game shows, cash prizes today are often smaller than the millions on offer in the past - but another new trend in the genre is for both viewers and contestants to see all the cash on offer.

In another de Rijk show, "Money Grabbers", a contestant, placed inside a glass dome, is showered with bank notes after surviving seven nerve-racking rounds. He or she must then try and grab as many notes as possible.

FreemantleMedia, whose hit shows include "American Idol" and its many international versions, has come to MIPTV with a clutch of brand new reality shows which aim to inspire youngsters and persuade viewers that they may have what it takes to become an international volunteer.

"Dream School", for example, which takes a trip back to a classroom with a difference, aspires to help teenaged drop-outs.

Described as both challenging and entertaining, the series, which has premiered on Britain's semi-public Channel 4 television, features well-known personalities from the sporting, political and arts worlds.

The mentors, who include lawyer Cherie Booth, historian David Starkey and decathlon gold medallist Dailey Thompson, aim to engage, encourage and educate pupils who have failed in the traditional school system.

"It's all about learning from example, not teaching them," Freemantle's chief operating officer Gary Carter told AFP.

"There is definitely a feeling of making a difference to the world and a definite attempt to go towards positive values."

Other inspirational new shows highlighted in a "Fresh TV Around the World" presentation hosted by Mouseler in Cannes included "Holding Out For A Hero".

Three contestants compete in this game show to win a big cash prize to hand over to their hero - a deserving person with an amazing story who again has no idea that someone has decided to make their dream come true.

A home of their own in a beautiful village is another new format aimed at changing a lucky family's life.

In "the Village", which is to premiere in Britain, 12 couples and families will compete to win their own home. But to win, they will have to charm the locals and convince them that they can make a real contribution to village life.

Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
music The singer has died aged 70
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams looks concerned as Arya Stark
tv
Arts and Entertainment
photography Incredible images show London's skyline from its highest points
Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
classical
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all