Major social movements similar to #MeToo or environmentalism have taken root in international TV during the latter quarter of 2019 as corroborated by Teleformat, the international observatory of television trends and formats in its latest report. The study shows what’s in on the small screen in the field of entertainment and, therefore, what’s most successful among the public.
Following the Weinstein case and the debate that unleashed the sexual abuse and sexism, international television has given greater attention to women in all types of formats. Programs like “In a Man’s World” (USA) and “Barbie Erklärt’s” (Germany) focus on the most combative aspect, while other proposals; “Mulher Place” (Brazil) and “Misdaad Advocaten” (Netherlands) provide a position to women in areas usually dominated by men.
The fight against climate change led by Greta Thunberg and her legion of followers has also found its place on TV. The formats that seek to raise awareness about environmental protection are in vogue. Ambitious documentary productions stand out (“Seven Worlds, One Planet”, United Kingdom) and investigative reports and informative spaces that insist on the climatic emergency (“2050”, France) and responsible consumption (“De Vergelijers”, Holland).
New technologies have taken dedicated minutes to broadcast in some cases as a tool to attract a young audience (“Ningen vs. Al”, “Drone x Oni”, Japan) and, in others, to publicize the latest scientific advances (“Unnatural Selection”, USA; “De toekomst is fantastich”, The Netherlands).
Classic trends also abound. Thus, the talent show reaffirms its dominance. Music remains one of the biggest investments in this area with numerous premieres, including “Mask Singer” (France), “America’s Most Musical Family” (USA) and “Hai Chang Zhuan Qi Lai (China). But also other disciplines such as interpretation (“Yan Yuan Qing Jiu Wei”, China), tattoos (“Ink Master: Grudge Match”, USA), cooking (“Antonino Chef Academy”, Italy) or drag queens (” Queen of drags ”, Germany) make their way into the talent universe.
Another veteran, the dating show, still holds a place on the programming schedules: with a touch of comedy (“Blind Date”, USA), with changes of scenarios (“Ex on the Beach: Peak of Love”, USA) or with a special sensitivity (“Love on the Spectrum ”, Australia).
They’ve also held onto back-to-the-hood road movie realities (“Ant and Dec DNA Journey”, United Kingdom), discovering distant cultures (“Cultuurshock”, Netherlands) or in search of happiness in remote destinations (“Chasing the Sun”) , USA).
After an era in which the hidden camera had been questioned, it’s now making a comeback for example, on OTT platforms: “Pixar in Real Life” (Disney +, USA), “Prank Encounters” (Netflix, USA), and still with features on surprise programs, the latter being one of the consistently popular genres (“Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways”, USA; “La porta dei sogni”, Italy).
The obsession with the rich and famous holds on to its airtime tightly, although they have had to reinvent themselves, with several formats opting for new technologies or gender mergers to gain access to the world of gossip press successfully (“La boîte à secrets”, France; “Haussitter gesucht!”, Germany).
In the past century, the ‘true crime’ genre has confirmed its position as a genre that continues to arouse fascination with documentaries on murders and real disappearances (“The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park”, USA; “Grégory”, France) and, again, programs focused on police work (“Live PD: Wanted”, USA; “Die Austausch-Cops”, Germany).