27 February 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
Big Mountain Productions’ format ‘Genealogy Roadshow’ airs on PBS Mon 23 Sept
2013-09-20 : By Julie Browne
Philip McGovern and Jane Kelly, creators of Big Mountain Productions
The US version of the Irish format show ‘Genealogy Roadshow’ will be the first Irish show to go straight to transmission, without a pilot, when it airs on PBS’s primetime slot next Monday 23rd of September.

The partnership with the major American network will see Irish company Big Mountain Productions receive 5% format fee of the overall US budget, plus consultancy and creative credits.

Big Mountain Productions has also agreed a new global distribution deal for the format series with FreemantleMedia, who produce and distribute shows such as ‘X-Factor’, ‘Got Talent’ and ‘The Price is Right’ across international markets, that will see the programme being transmitted across global markets. FreemantleMedia will showcase the show at MIPCOM in Cannes, the most high profile global market for entertainment content, this October.

Philip McGovern and Jane Kelly are the creators of the Dundalk based Big Mountain Productions which specialises in creating original format TV series. The success of the ‘Genealogy Roadshow’ reflects the potential of Irish format creation in the international market.

Speaking about the potential of Irish format development, Jane Kelly said: “We’re breaking new ground here with an original format that we’ve developed and produced locally but went straight to transmission from one of the major networks in the biggest TV market in the world.”

Presented by Derek Mooney (‘Winning Streak’), the series enlisted the help of a historical and genealogical swat team in a bid to reveal the historical origins of members of the public, determining whether the interviewees are related to famous historical figures or if they have any close connections to celebrated Irish historical events.

The series was commissioned by RTE’s commissioning editor for regional programmes, Ray McCarthy and the executive producer for RTÉ is John MacMahon. Editing on the series was carried out by Piranha Bar.

The Genealogy Show first premiered on RTE1 in September 2011, with Series 2 completed production earlier this year.

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