Television

FremantleMedia to bring 'Benefits Street' to MipTV

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MUMBAI: FremantleMedia and Love Productions todayannouncedan acquisition deal that sees FremantleMedia take the worldwide rights (excluding UK and North America) to Benefits Street, the most talked about and opinion-dividing show in the UK.Givinga no holds barredaccount of the reality of life on state welfare,the controversial social reality showrecently aired on Channel 4in the UK, and became the highest ratingseries for the channel in three years.



Benefits Streetdivided the country and sparked a national debate in every home,office and even in parliament. Highlighting social issues, the show reveals the reality of life on benefits as the residents of one of Britain's most welfare-dependent streets invite cameras into their tight-knit community. The series follows the residents as they navigate their way through life enduring economic hardships, raising children in poverty, low levels of education and training, and crime. Despite the challenges, the street has a strong sense of community. This is a place where people look out for one another and where small acts of kindness can go a long way.



The UK version of the show launched in January and achieved a peak audience of 6.5 million viewers. Over the course of the series20.7 million viewers sampled the show, a massive 35% of the UK’s TV population.Throughout the series, Benefits Street continuously ranked as the number one show in its time slot amongst young adults (16-34). The show created such a strong reaction, including a social media storm,that an additional live debate show,Benefits Street: The Last Word, was commissioned.A second series of Benefits Street is in the pipeline.



Rob Clark, Director of Global Entertainment Development, FremantleMedia said: “I’m a huge fan of this show. It is a noisy, gloves-off, groundbreaking reality series that at times is touching and heartwarming. It covers a social issue that affects us all and cannot be ignored. I watched it on Channel 4 and am proud to launch it internationally at MIPTV.”



Richard McKerrow, Chief Executive of Love Productions said: “Benefits Street caused a huge stir when it was broadcast in the UK, engaging record-breaking audiences in serious social issues. We are delighted to be working with FremantleMedia and very excited to be bringing this show to the international market”.

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