ITV1 and ITVX has commissioned Initial (part of Banijay UK) – the production company behind Big Brother – to produce gameshow, 99 to Beat.

Already successful in seven countries with multiple series in Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and Poland, 99 To Beat is a gameshow where there’s one rule that players must follow if they’re to be in with a chance of walking away with the cash prize – Don’t come last.

The eight-part series starts with 100 contestants, and viewers will follow as players go head-to-head in a range of games. After each round, the number of players is gradually whittled down, with only one person taking the top prize.

Whether it’s trying to find a dummy hidden in a vat of jelly or putting on a frozen t-shirt, the only aim of the game is to not come last. If they do, they’re out.

Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment Commissioning ITV said: “99 To Beat brings 100 people together to set upon this extraordinary game where there is really only one rule, Don’t Come Last. As the contestants compete they also form tight bonds and as they get to know each other, we get to see who plays well, who buckles under the pressure and who has lasting power.”

Katy Manley, MD of Initial, said: “We are really excited about 99 To Beat. What’s brilliant about it is that anyone has a real shot at winning. Whether you’re 18 or 80, players don’t need to be experts in one particular skill. Winning is not important – it’s not coming last that counts! The human stories that sit alongside the gameplay will provide heart, humour and drama throughout.”

99 To Beat is an Initial (part of Banijay UK) production for ITV. It was commissioned by Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment Commissioning ITV and Kevin O’Brien, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment Commissioning ITV. Katy Manley is Executive Producer for Initial, alongside Paula Thomas.

In a deal struck with Belgium distributor Primitives, Banijay represents the format in three English-language territories. 99 To Beat is a format developed by Belgium broadcaster VRT and production company De Chinezen.

Katie Rawcliffe speaks to Televisual about Large Scale Formats in a feature which appears in the Spring issue, out this week. 


Pippa Considine

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