Cuckoo For Cuckoo’s Nest: Ben Silverman and Electus Announce International Programming Slate

Today, Ben Silverman, the former NBC entertainment chief who left the Peacock last year to start a newfangled “next generation studio” called Electus for IAC’s Barry Diller, revealed his new studio’s international programming slate. It’s arguably the best peak yet into Mr. Silverman’s professional activities and interests, post NBC.

Among the other partnerships announced today, Mr. Silverman revealed that Electus Distribution is working with New York based production company Sharpe Entertainment (producers of the Travel Channel hit show Man vs. Food) on a new series called Munch Madness, (inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest) in which various regional restaurants will square off tournament-style, ala NCAA basketball, in a competition for national foodie bragging rights.

Lets go Katz’s! Let’s go Katz’s!

Additionally, Electus will be working with Mark Burnett Productions and Swedish-based Bringiton to import the hit Chinese game show Big Time Spender.

Expect Electus to announce its scripted slate in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, here’s more from today’s release:

Electus Distribution, the studio’s international distribution arm established in 2010 in conjunction with Shine International, will handle sales of the international TV and digital programming slate. The new block of television and digital programming for international distribution includes:


HICCUPS: Electus Distribution has secured the international and U.S. rights to the new hit Canadian television series, Hiccups, from the most successful Canadian production company, Thunderbird Films.  Airing on CTV, the show stars Canada’s biggest comedy star, Brent Butt, and his former Corner Gas co-star and real life wife, Nancy Robertson.  The comedy focuses on Millie Upton, a disgruntled children’s author with anger management issues, also referred to as “hiccups,” who seeks the counsel of a bumbling life coach (Brent Butt). Its first time in the international market, the series is created and executive produced by Brent Butt. 
READY, SET, DANCE: Created by Notional execs Cleve Keller and Dave Noll in partnership with Electus, Ready, Set, Dance! is a first-of-its-kind dance competition series that seamlessly combines the web and television 
ABBOTT REIF HAMEIRI PRODUCTION COMPANY: Israel-based Abbot Reif Hameiri Production Company, the leading production company in Israel, is one of the first distribution partnerships of Electus Distribution. Under the terms of the agreement, Electus Distribution will develop Abbot Reif Hameiri’s Israeli programming in the United States across all platforms, including mobile, internet and TV.  Likewise, Abbot Reif Hameiri has the opportunity to repurpose Electus’ multi-platform content to sell to the Israeli marketplace.
CUCKOO’S NEST: Electus Distribution has secured the international and US rights to the Israeli format Cuckoo’s Nest, a mega-interactive game show produced by Abbott Reif Hameiri Production Company. Originally distributed live from Facebook and via Cellcom, the biggest mobile carrier in Israel, the next-generation format fuses a virtual home-based game with a real studio-based game.

TLV: Electus Distribution has secured the international and US rights to TLV, an Israeli format docu-drama from Abbott Reif Hameiri Production Company. The series follows four young people in their twenties as they each get the job opportunity of a lifetime in the fast-paced, glamorous world of entertainment, media and public relations. Living as roommates in the big city, each individual faces personal and professional challenges that show business and the big city confronts them with
STYLIZED WITH PATRICIA FIELD: Electus has partnered with award-winning actress Vanessa Williams and her producing partner Michael Gruber to co-produce Stylized with Patricia Field, a new web series whereby renowned stylist Patricia Field, the stylistic brain behind Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty, becomes an ordinary woman’s fashion fairy godmother, helping them discover their perfect look.