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Creator of Big Brother looks to crowds for new reality shows

Film & Theatre

Several years ago we wrote about Reality TV in a Booth, which gave South African consumers a chance at instant stardom, and now Dutch media entrepreneur John de Mol is tapping the crowds to find the next big ideas in non-scripted television—with big rewards for those that get chosen. Just last week the creator of ‘Fear Factor,’ ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Deal or No Deal’ launched TalpaCreative, an online community that offers American TV fans the unprecedented opportunity to create and sell their original non-scripted show ideas. Those who become members of the site can submit original format ideas as well as respond to more focused creativity assignments posted by De Mol and his creative team. Two submissions per month are required to retain membership, which is free. Members also have access to the site’s exclusive newsletter and an array of online media resources to help them stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Trend-spotting is strongly encouraged as well, with cash prizes for the most prolific spotters. The best show ideas submitted to the site will be developed by De Mol and his creative team and may be produced and distributed internationally by Talpa Media Group and Endemol, with the creator’s involvement throughout the process. A cash reward of USD 500 will be given to the most active and creative member of the site each month, and shows that get put into production will earn their creators USD 50,000 or more (spelled out in clear-cut legal agreements), depending on how far they get. De Mol explains: “I am certain that someone with little connection to the TV industry is sitting on a truly great non-fiction show concept. offers that person a direct line to my development team, which could be all it takes to make their dream into our next reality hit. We are ready to take creative and financial risks, to bring some of these ideas to life.” From product-design contests by major consumer brands to ad agencies for consumer-created ads, there’s no doubt companies are finally starting to realize (and reward!) the potential and profitability of crowdsourcing and the customer-made trend. How can the wisdom of the crowds help your brand compete? (Related: Crowd-managed TV production company.) Spotted by: Jochem de Swart



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