NATPE/Content First Dedicates a Day to Reality

The market and conference in January will include panels, pitch sessions, awards and a case study about reality shows and reality format sales

After expanding to be more international and to include digital content, NATPE/Content First is now boosting reality TV to a prominent role, it was announced Monday.

For the first time, the event in January will feature a day about reality TV including several panels, a case study on the show Shark Tank, an opportunity to pitch show ideas and an awards luncheon that will include categories for reality, reality competition, games shows, docusoaps and factual (or nonfiction) programming.

“NATPE/Reality makes NATPE more than a content market, it’s an idea market,” said Phil Gurin, an executive producer on Shark Tank and co-head with CAA’s Hans Schiff of NATPE’S reality and formats advisory board, in a statement. “This is an incredible opportunity to pitch original ideas to people who actually buy them and make them happen.”

The NATPE Reality Breakthrough Awards will be presented during a networking mixer on the first day of this year’s market and conference at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach on Jan. 20, 2015. A blue ribbon panel will choose the winners. Judges include Carlos Bardasano of Univision, Sean Boyle of Discovery Channel, David Eilenberg of TNT/TBS, Eliot Goldberg of AMC and Debra Goldfarb of Rebel Entertainment Partners.

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A “Pro Pitch” event that day will offer participants the chance to pitch ideas to reality and formats development executives, both domestic and international.

There will be executives from a number of companies available to pitch, including A&E Networks, ABC Entertainment Group, CBS Television Network, Lifetime Networks, The CW, Warner Bros. International Television, WE tv, and others.

The panels will cover international formats and syndication of reality content.

Speakers on the international formats panel include Mike Beale of ITV Studios; Richard Ehrsam of Televisa International; Grant Ross of Zodiac Media; Michael Schmidt of Red Arrow Entertainment; Mark Linsey of the BBC; and Jennifer Dettman of CBC Television.

The panel on reality shows in syndication will include Stephen Brown of Fox Television Stations; Lonnie Burstein of Debmar-Mercury; Hilary Estey McLoughlin of CBS Television Distribution; and Valerie Schaer of NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.

The Shark Tank case study will include a presentation by executive producer Clay Newbill and others.

“Our curated panels and interactive special events offer direct access to the people and companies who are defining the world of reality and formats,” said Rod Perth, NATPE president/CEO, in a statement.

This year, the “Market of the Americas,” as NATPE calls it, will take shape under the banner theme “Content Without Borders.” It runs Jan. 20 through 23, a week earlier than in past years.

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