Banijay closed a new adaptation for the "The Write Offs" format

French-Canada becomes fifth territory to produce version of empowering the entertainment format

13 FEB 2024

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Banijay Rights announced the fifth adaptation of the factual entertainment format "The Write Offs," with a new version set for French-Canada. French-Canadian broadcaster Télé-Québec will launch a new 4 x 30' adaptation entitled "L’Épreuve des Mots" in primetime this month, with Montreal-based Sphere Media Productions on board as local producer. Originally created by Shine TV for Channel 4 in the UK, "The Write Offs" helps a diverse group of adults who can't read or write to master basic literacy skills necessary for everyday situations. Each embarks on an eye-opening journey as they face tasks encouraging them to go genuinely outside their comfort zones. The series concludes with a heartwarming and dramatic performance for their loved ones.

The French-Canadian version will be hosted by Patricia Paquin whose own 13 year- old suffers from learning disorders; and features a cast of five contributors who all' have primary school literacy and must complete a 16 week course. Following the Channel 4 version, "The Write Offs" has since been adapted in Australia, with two seasons on SBS, as well as in Denmark on DR and Germany on ZDFJane Rimer, SVP, Canada, Banijay Rights, who negotiated the agreement, said: "We are thrilled to partner with Télé-Québec and Sphere Media Productions to bring this important – and heart-warming - format to Quebec viewers. "The Write Offs" shines a light on a very serious global issue and demonstrates how television can be used as a force for good to literally change lives," noted.

Nadine Dufour, Vice President of Content, Télé-Québec, contextualized the content within the framework of the responsibility of a public medium: "As a public television broadcaster, Télé-Québec's mandate is to reflect the reality and challenges of Quebec through its programming. With 10% of the population considered functionally illiterate, we are proud to finally give a voice to those whom we see very little of in our Quebec media landscape," mentioned.

Renaud Chassé, EVP, Unscripted & Documentaries, French content, Sphere Media Productions, made reference to the positive reception of the content: "The adaptation of "The Write Offs" in Quebec has enabled us to understand that illiteracy is a challenge present in most countries. Since we announced this project, this issue has gained prominence in the media," added.