Spy hears The Hits’ radio star Ben Boyce has been picked to front a new competition reality series being launched as a format at the upcoming MIPCOM global TV marketplace in the South of France next month.
MIPCOM bills itself as the world’s greatest gathering of TV and entertainment executives at a large expo at Palais des Festivals in Cannes.
Sources tell Spy the new Kiwi show is a top-secret new format on an epic scale, where Wipeout meets Ninja Warrior and Gladiators as contestants compete to win $100,000.
Boyce, 43, is said to have teamed up with one of New Zealand’s leading unscripted TV producers, Alex Breingan, managing director of Stripe Studios & Media which has produced shows like The Circus (which is now on air in Australia, Canada, the UK, and Europe) and Rich Listers for Bravo and most recently Izzy and Beaver’s French Connection.
Boyce and Breingan have developed the format, which is said to already have interest from Fox and Amazon Prime in the US.
Like that of many local production houses, Stripe Studios’ aim is to not just deliver New Zealand content to Kiwis but to also sell the concepts and the shows worldwide.
Earlier this year Breingan was in meetings with several big studios in Hollywood and told Spy at the time that there was a huge appetite for unscripted and reality TV formats for the US market and globally. He declined to comment about Boyce’s new show.
Boyce is said to not be hosting the new show alone. Those hoping for a Jono and Ben reunion are out of luck, even though Boyce and Jono Pryor were famous for Wipeout-style shenanigans on their TV show.
Rumours have been circulating of a co-host flying in from the US to front the show. If a pilot has already been shot, Netflix comedy superstar Iliza Shlesinger’s recent Kiwi visit to New Zealand might have been the perfect timing.
Last month Spy reported Shlesinger was in Godzone with her chef husband and their baby daughter for a holiday in the middle of her world standup comedy tour.
Those holding out for The Hits breakfast hosts Boyce and Pryor, to have a TV reunion might just have it. In June, Spy revealed Pryor had written and will star in his own comedy show on Three called Vince, where he said Boyce may just make a cameo on his show.
Vince will be a primetime comedy about an eponymous television presenter who is dumped by his network after a mishap.