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Fall TV season: overview and early trends

Julia Espérance, media consultant at Eurodata TV and service manager for the New on the Air (NOTA) programming service, analyses the top new shows from the latest TV season and finds that formats with a positive message or light-hearted in tone are winning eyeballs.

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Whether through comedy, challenge or music-based shows, broadcasters are still looking to lift the mood of the audience.

As the economic depression lingers, positive TV is still going strong and the early fall season schedules hve been packed with light-hearted launches. Scandi countries have built a worldwide reputation for dark crime series in the genre that has come to be known as Nordic noir.

However, several successful comedy launches this season prove its not all gloom in Northern Europe.

The Danish sitcom Tomgang, about three friends hanging out in a kiosk discussing their relationships, broke records on TV2 Zulu for its premiere with a share six times higher than the primetime slot’s average.

On the same channel, the hybrid sitcom Sjit Happens gives the viewers a chance to see their funny stories reenacted on TV by actors. They submit the stories online and, the evidence would suggest, that the audience seem to being enjoying the chance to see their memorable moments centre stage. The premiere episode more than doubled the slot average.

The trend for offbeat comedy is not confined to the Nordic territories. In North Belgium, the comedy series That Awkward Moment When Mom Entered, featuring sketches about excruciatingly awkward situations that people end up in, did not go unnoticed on channel 2BE with a share that doubled that of the slot.

In the US, reality series Modern Dads has got off to a stellar start, more than doubling the average viewership for its slot.

Talent shows remain a force to be reckoned and are looking to differentiate themselves with original concepts.

Several local formats have seen the light in Asia this fall, and all have registered strong results, at least doubling their respective slots.

In South Korea the series titles WIN, on music channel Mnet, makes viewers fully responsible for the candidates’ fate, as two teams of trainee singers fiercely compete to become the next Korean singing star.

Also in South Korea, Perfect Singer VS on CJ E&M’s pay TV channel TV Variety Network is proving popular. The format features teams of professional and amateur singers, who have their performances measured with the help of a device measuring their ability to hold a tune and keep rhythm.

China is betting on another type of candidate in I’m Not a Star, which features celebrities’ kids competing against each other through singing and dancing challenges.

Beyond these new formats, established entertainment brands are still going strong and continue their spread worldwide. In Denmark, the diving competition Stars in Danger (pictured) made waves and headlines with excellent results for its premiere on TV3, as did the Belgium adaptation of Money Drop on VIER, showing that gameshows are still one of the stalwarts of the entertainment genre, especially when the aim is to win big.

Note: Eurodata measured the best performing new programme premieres relative to the average performace of their viewing slot.