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Show of the week: The Gift

The Gift marks another BBC One format coming from the Warner Bros. Television Production UK (fka Shed Media) stable. Who Do You Think You Are creator Wall to Wall is behind the show, which will run in primetime on Britain’s biggest channel.

The show’s premise ties into the trend for emotive formats with a purpose, also seen in the UK through ITV’s Find My Family.

The Gift documents stories of people seeking to thank others that have helped them in past. This might mean a person that saved their life or someone that helped them reconcile with others they have wronged in the past. By making amends and/or showing gratitude they are able to overcome guilt and regret.

“There has been a trend of ‘reunion’ shows in the international market,” says Andrew Zein, senior VP, creative, format development and sales at distributor Warner Bros. International Television Production. “Audiences have an appetite for this.

The Gift is filled with emotional journeys – different stories in each episode – travelling around the world to get people together to say ‘thank you’ or to say ‘sorry’ or ‘my life wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for you’. Audiences will tune in at the start of the episode and not be able to turn off – they will want to find out the outcome of each individual story.”

However, he says the format is more than just “reconciliation and forgiveness”. “These are stories of acknowledgement, gratitude and thanks as well as apologies and finding forgiveness,” he adds.

Zein says there has been “lots” of interest since the BBC put the show into development. “Every territory will have its own range of compassionate stories and their audiences will want to watch.”

The BBC is readying the show, most likely for early next year in a primetime slot. Warner Bros. expects the series to run in similar slots on buying channels.

The show: The Gift
The producer: Wall to Wall
The distributor: Warner Bros. International Television Production
The channel: BBC One
The concept: Primetime format in which people seek out those that have helped them in the past