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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    NBC Orders Genealogy Series

    NBC orders celeb genealogy series

    By James Hibberd

    March 11 2008
    If exploring the lives of celebrities seems a little tired, NBC has a solution: Find their relatives.

    The network has ordered a genealogy reality series called "Who Do You Think You Are" from U.K. production house Wall to Wall (PBS' "Frontier House") in association with Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky's Is or Isn't Entertainment.

    The one-hour series is based on the hit British series where stars are shown the oft-surprising details of their ancestors' lives. In the U.K. version, the uncovered backstories included tales of bigamy, wartime heroism and, in one case, attempted murder. Celebrity participants often are brought to tears as they learn about their relatives' hardships.

    "It's about people trying to figure out a sense of identity, and we've discovered it's an emotional journey," Wall to Wall CEO and show creator Alex Graham said. "Everybody has a great story. When confronted by that great story, no matter how practiced you are in front of the camera, it's very incredibly moving."

    NBC has given the project a series order contingent on finding a suitable celebrity cast. Producers are researching the family trees of several interested celebrity candidates to see whether they have compelling backgrounds (the network declined to name the candidates).


    "It's great storytelling, a journey of self-discovery for these celebrities and truly moving and life-changing," said Craig Plestis, executive vp alternative programming at NBC. "You often see a very different side of them."

    The network expects the show to largely retain the British original's format. Graham will executive produce the U.S. version along with Is or Isn't partners Kudrow, Bucatinsky and Don Roos.

    The order from NBC marks the first major commitment for Is or Isn't in the reality area. On the scripted side, the company is under a two-year, first-look deal with NBC Uni's Universal Media Studios.

    The former "Friends" star and Bucatinsky previously were based at Warner Bros. TV, where they produced such scripted projects as HBO's comedy series "The Comeback," which starred Kudrow.

    Celebrity-based reality shows have been on the rise, fueled by the success of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." NBC found success with "The Celebrity Apprentice" this season and has "Celebrity Circus," premiering this summer.

    "Who Do You Think You Are," which launched in 2004, will air its fifth season on BBC1 this year. Its fourth-season premiere in the summer scored the show's highest rating ever, with 6.8 million viewers tuning in.

    The show is credited with sparking an interest in genealogy among many BBC viewers. Last year, BBC Magazines began publishing Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, a monthly publication about tracing one's family tree. Versions of "Who Do You Think You Are" also are in production in Canada and Australia.

    Is or Isn't is repped by Endeavor.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2008
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    I wonder if CBC would be interested in airing it here in Canada since they just finished a Canadian version.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2006
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    The last time CBC picked up a american reality series (The One) it bombed and did horrible.

    That being said, I think CBC should stay away from american shows, I don't mind a few like Martha, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, ect.. but we shouldn't be paying for them to buy american shows. It's different with CTV,Global,Citytv because they are private.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2008
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    New Brunswick
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVViewer View Post
    The last time CBC picked up a american reality series (The One) it bombed and did horrible.

    That being said, I think CBC should stay away from american shows, I don't mind a few like Martha, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, ect.. but we shouldn't be paying for them to buy american shows. It's different with CTV,Global,Citytv because they are private.
    I would usually agree with you except that this time if CBC does a second season of the Canadian edition then they could use the American edition to help promote the Canadian edition.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    12,204
    That was the exact same thing The One was suspose to do, to promote the Canadian edition (CBC ended up not doing it due to the american One's low ratings)

 

 

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