29 APR 2024

Long-running shows with a huge fan base, what's the secret behind Be-Entertainment's success?

Gepke Nederlof, Managing Director, brings some tips to create and distribute shows that grow and resonate season after season and details some success stories.

29 APR 2024

Gepke Nederlof

  • Facebook
  • X
  • Linkedin
  • Whatsapp

Belgium distributor Be-Entertainment detents a robust and varied catalog that includes proven and hit formats and finished scripted programs. One of its last hits is "Destination X" (10x75'-90'), an adventure reality competition that was launched in Belgium last year and rocked the VTM ratings. "We have seven countries that are going to enter the black bus and do their own version of this adventure reality competition," said Gepke Nederlof, Managing Director of Be-Entertainment to Señal News. Geronimo created and produced a format that was sold to France, The UK, The US, and Germany, among other territories. "We're going to launch the show in the Netherlands soon, and we are recording a total of five series this summer in Europe," she anticipated.

Among the scripted news, Be-Entertainment is bringing to the global market the telenovela "Milo" (300 x 25'), a modern-day fairy tale about a talented girl with a golden voice who is forced to hide her musical talent to the outside world; shattering her dreams of a life entire of singing and music. It's a romantic, dreamy, and optimistic story covered by a bit of humor. "We have ordered 300 episodes in Belgium for this show, and VTM has already broadcast the first 50. We started in January with a daily broadcast, and it's doing amazingly well, with a 44% market share after 50 episodes. It's in a 6 p.m. slot, skewing quite young, but we also see a lot of late viewing, so the show has a very loyal fan base. It's exciting for us to do something completely on the other spectrum than 'Destination X,'" commented Nederlof.

Another show that Be-Entertainment wants to focus on is "Celebrity Farmsitters" (4x45'), a show where farmers who never get a break finally receive the chance to have it. "Our host takes over together with another guest celebrity, and they do all the work. It's a nice combination of showing these farms have the entertainment value and the emotion; there are good reactions to this," said the executive. The Belgium distributor has relaunched the panel show "Seen It All" (13x45'), which takes viewers through the most amusing, moving, and notable clips from the previous week. "It's a very hilarious program, and we're relaunching it because it's the 10th birthday of this show in Holland and the 9th series in Belgium," Nederlof explained. "Previously, we couldn't clear all the clips in some countries, but the show could not be more relevant with all the user-generated content. This content and the broadcaster's content make it a very rich show to bring," she added.

Be-Entertainment has some proven and returning shows that have been performing really well for several years, such as the entertainment game show "Finders Keepers" (6x45'); the hidden camera comedy format "Did You Get The Message?" (10x45'); the family entertainment show "The Way Out" (8x45') and the reality renovation competition "Home Made Home" (20x45') which is a "huge show for us in Belgium," asserted the MD of Be-Entertainment. "We started with 33% market share for the first and then 36%, and now we're up to 41% market share on average for the series," she added. Nederlof also admitted that one of their favorites is the studio entertainment show "The Musical of Your Life" (8x55').

The be-Entertainment catalog offers programs that are successful in the long run and have international appeal. Nederlof asserted that there needs to be something that the viewer recognizes, and "I think sometimes it also helps if the broadcasters give some idea space," she said. "Not every show starts at a huge percentage, so if they can let it grow, that's also the way to strengthen shows in the long run," she explained. One good example is the collectibles competition "Going Once, Going Twice" (7x50'), "that started good, but now we're in the third series, and it keeps building and building," she commented. "Sometimes if you give a show a little bit of love, it does help to grow these shows for long-term success, but the basic needs to be good, and it needs to touch the viewers enough to come back and watch it," she added.

Although the main Be-Entertainment clients are based in Western Europe, the distributor wants to reach as many countries as possible and relevant. "I'm not sure if it's a goal, but maybe it's a dream, and we have big dreams," Nederlof said, albeit she recognized that there are some markets where Belgian content is more suitable. "Our focus is on the countries where our formats make sense, and that's mostly the Western countries, but we're working on new content that is also suitable for the other territories," she said. The executive commented that everyone is still looking for the next big thing and commented that their clients currently are demanding two types of content, big and brave shows like "Destination X" "that clients can't miss" and, on the other hand, there's also the smaller/smart- ones that can fill the rest of the schedule. "That's the combination of what they're looking for," she concluded.