Hungarian adventure show format set to become a worldwide phenomena

By Laszlo Kriston
    Hungary is set to break out of the Central European mold and become a TV format exporter instead of being a mere importer of these licences.

    Producer and anchorman Tamas Frei debuted his new African-based adventure show The Stars Must Be Crazy on Hungary's TV2, featuring celebs who endure physical challenges in the wilderness of Africa.

    Based on an original Hungarian idea, the show was developed for over a year in co-operation with Dutch production company, Intellygents (www.intellygents.com,) which was founded in 2002 by Kirsten van Nieuwenhuijzen, formerly of Endemol (www.endemol.com) where he helped Big Brother to global fame. Intellygents, part of 2waytraffic (www.2waytraffi.com), a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, is selling the new format worldwide and has reported interest from several countries.

    Jumping on the bandwagon, Hungary's RTL Klub (www.rtlklub.hu) is broadcasting another jungle-based reality show running, entitled I'm a Celeb, Get Me Outta Here!

    The production finished shooting on Nov 12 in Argentina. On the same day, reports about alleged irregularities among its workforce were dismissed and RTL Klub and its contractor, IKO Musorgyarto Kft. were officially cleared of such suspicions.

    In 2007, Magyar RTL Televizio Zrt. has led the earnings chart of all media corporations in Hungary with 125 million euro (34 billion forint), according to the research company Ecostat's data as published in an annual survey on leading Hungarian private firms. TV2-owner, MTM-SBS Televizio Zrt. ranked second in the media sector with earnings amounting to 92 million euro.