Irish TV graduate Sean O’Riordan has managed to do what many Irish producers with twice as much experience have failed to do, sell a winning television format idea to an international company.
Tipperary-born O’Riordan has sold the gameshow ‘Newton’s Law’ to Warner Brothers in the US after the media giant optioned the pilot at the New York TV Festival.
O’Riordan developed the pilot for a graduation project while studying at the National Film and Television School’s TV Department in the UK. O’Riordan previously studied Media Studies and French at the National University of Ireland.
Currently based in London, O’Riordan said the format, which is described as ‘Saw meets The Cube’ on his official website, will see couples take part in the “psychological gameshow”, where one half of the couple faces their greatest fears so the other can win their dream prize. Speaking to the media, he said: “It's about how far you would go for the other person in your life.”
O'Riordan also won a $5,000 (€4,125) cash prize after submitting the pilot for ‘Newton’s Law’ to the New York TV Festival.
Many Ireland-based production companies have tried to get original formats off the ground both in Ireland and abroad, but have encountered difficulties in doing so due to a number of factors, including finance and Irish broadcasters’ “lack of confidence” according to some Irish producers.
Most recently, Brendan O’Carroll’s ‘Mrs, Brown’s Boys’ has sold to three international territories, and beActive production company sold 60 episodes of its newly developed cookery show to 24 Hour Kitchen in Portugal, owned by the FOX Network.