EXCLUSIVE: The BBC is developing big-budget entertainment series First and Last, a competition format from Endemol Shine Group. I hear that the British public broadcaster is currently casting for its own adaptation of the international format that is also being produced in Brazil, China, Italy and Ukraine. It is based on an original idea from UK division Zeppotron.
The format starts with eleven contestants competing in several challenging games. Their objective is not to end up first or last or they face immediate elimination. After four rounds, the three remaining contestants battle it out in a final game, where they are handed a briefcase of cash. Three finalists are then placed in a secret booth where they have two minutes to decide how much money they are prepared to leave behind and how much they want to walk away with. However, in order to win they must not take the least or the most and the person who exits with the middle amount of cash is the winner and walks away with that amount.
I understand that the Crystal Maze-meets-Ninja Warrior-style format is being developed for BBC One and is in the early stages but could score a slot for 2019.
It is the latest Endemol Shine entertainment format for the BBC, after singing contest All Together Now was recently picked up for a second season. The Remarkable Television format, which sees amateur performers take to the stage to perform in front of an audience of 100 singers, is one of the most successful breakout non-scripted hits in the UK.
BBC Entertainment chief Kate Phillips, who has previously said that she had around 50 entertainment ideas in development, said that there were still lots of opportunities for producers. Revealing her commissioning priorities on the broadcaster’s own site, she added: “On BBC One we’re looking for big, huge, primetime pieces for Saturday nights. With Saturday night entertainment, there really is no nursery slope, there’s nowhere to hide, they’re launching hard into these primetime slots where everyone is watching them and ready to judge.
“We want big, funny, warm-hearted shows on BBC One, those that sit well in the schedule… does it feel something that a broad audience would come to that the three generations would come to.”