BBC and NBCUniversal have co-commissioned hit adventure reality competition show Destination X. This follows the recent global phenomenon of The Traitors, which was also a co-commission between the two broadcast giants.

The show was created by Geronimo, the format originated in Belgium and is distributed globally by Be-Entertainment.

The North American rights were secured by Toby Gorman and Ed Havard for Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, for development at NBC, led by Corie Henson. Whilst for the BBC, Director of Unscripted Kate Phillips and Editor of Unscripted, Syeda Irtizaali, secured UK rights for BBC One and iPlayer.

Destination X crosses fantasy with reality as ten contestants embark on a road trip, but have no idea of their location. Once they’re on the innovative Destination X bus, reality is tweaked to mislead them and the viewers. Information comes with a number of clues designed to help the contestants decide if they can trust what they see. They need to figure out where they are.

At the end of each episode, the contestant who places their X on a map furthest away from the bus’s actual location has to leave the game and loses their shot at winning a cash prize. The surviving participants search for the location of the host, who interacts with them from the secret command post. Gameplay will keep viewers engaged and playing along on all screens.

Destination X was created and produced by Geronimo, the team behind The Big Job Switch and Doctor Davy, and launched in Belgium on February 20th on commercial broadcaster VTM. It is consistently winning the slot on Monday evening, with a 42% market share over the first 8 episodes (18-44, Consolidated).  Destination X is also drawing eyeballs to VTM’s AVOD platform VTM Go. Immediately after the regular episodes on VTM, viewers can see in the online plot twist episodes what clever clues they missed and how contestants were misled by the production crew.

Kate Phillips, BBC Director of Unscripted, says: “Following the must-see success of The Traitors, I’m delighted that once again we’re partnering with NBCUniversal on another very smart, very addictive and very innovative competition show. With countless red herrings and brain-teasing clues, we were gripped from the start. It promises to be a hugely challenging adventure for our ten brave contestants, with plenty of play along for all BBC viewers, as everyone hopes they’ve got the ‘X’ that marks the spot!”

Corie Henson, Executive Vice President, Unscripted Programming, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, added: ” Destination X is a big unique format that pairs spectacular adventure travel with the ultimate guessing game. ‘The Traitors’ instilled confidence that big formats are back, and Destination X is incredibly ambitious. We’re thrilled to have the perfect traveling partners in Universal Television Alternative Studios, BBC and, of course, BE-Entertainment, for this one-of-a-kind immersive gameplay set among stunning locations.”

Gepke Nederlof, MD of Be-Entertainment, said: “It’s amazing to see how Destination X has literally taken off since its launch! It’s a true adventure both in and outside of the Destination X-bus, and we could not be more proud than to partner with two of the leading content companies in the world in such an early stage of our international journey.”

Photo credit: VTM Belgium

Pippa Considine

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