C21Media and FRAPA Format Awards 2009 present stars from the ‘format firmament’

Cologne, October 14, 2009. C21Media and FRAPA presented on wednesday night the international format awards in Cannes for the third time. 24,000 clips of the formats in contention were streamed from C21media.net during September, with a total of around 8,000 votes cast. The winners were selected by C21’s 30,000 strong community of executives from the worldwide content industry.

The 2009 winning formats were:

Best Competition Reality Format: Relentless (Zig Zag Productions)

Best Comedy Format: I Get That a Lot (CBS Studios International)

Best Multi-screen Format Married on MySpace (Endemol)

Best Observational Documentary Format: Undercover Boss (All3Media International),

Best Gameshow: Pretty Smart (Talpa Distribution)

Best Scripted Format: Being Erica (BBC Worldwide, produced by Canada’s Temple Street)

Promising some more stars from the “format firmament,” Lyle then introduced one former Endemol chief, Mike Morley, to introduce another former Endemol chief, the winner of this year’s Gold Award for services to the format industry, Peter Bazalgette. “Baz was a great man to work with as he gave us the courage to take risks and the room to fail, and that’s a rare commodity these days,” said Morley of his former and current colleague, both of them now working at Sony.

Baz then wowed the crowd with an acceptance speech that covered the current state of the business and compared it to the “remarkably creative 1990s,” when three big genres – reality TV, the Q&A quiz and the talent show – were reinvented, paving the way for a global business now worth US$13.3bn. That figure was bandied about a number of times last night, mostly by FRAPA board member Lyle, plugging the association’s latest report on the international formats business.

Ute Biernat, chair of FRAPA and CEO of GRUNDY Light Entertainment, said: “I am very proud to present this award for the third time with our partner C21Media. This evening brings together creative people from all over the world to celebrate formats and the power they have in the industry.”