Thursday, May 10, 2007

Top Of The Piramida

Željka Ogresta's interactive talk show Piramida might have caused enough trouble in Croatia to stall the career of TV executive Tanja Šimić and equate the Homeland War with the Oprah show (at least according to one HDZ grandee), but internationally the format can currently do no wrong: it's just picked up a Rose d'Or at the annual entertainment television festival in Lucerne.

The flagship of domestic entertainment production in Croatia, the Piramida concept - invite three controversial guests a week on to the show, viewers vote to send one into the next round and a house band makes up off-the-cuff songs about them - is just as much a cornerstone of HTV prime time as its foreign buy-ins, such as the Strictly Come Dancing and Just The Two Of Us imports (Ples sa zvijezdama and Zvijezde pjevaju) which have almost overtaken the Eurovision selection Dora as the channel's central musical projects.

Piramida currently airs in Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria and (its latest incarnation) Montenegro, but recognition in Lucerne might well enable the format to travel beyond south-east Europe. It's a wonder that more national broadcasters with inconvenient public service obligations and an eye for new sources of interactive revenue haven't had the idea already...

The Gazette gives it a year before Pyramid turns up on either BBC3 or Channel 4. Probably with Davina McCall and Four Poofs and a Piano.

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