Annual survey lists ABC’s You Can’t Ask That amongst world’s hottest TV formats

Global media consultancy K7 Media has released the top 100 unscripted TV formats

Global media intelligence consultancy K7 Media has released its list of the top 100 traveling unscripted TV formats. The annual research, branded Tracking the Giants, has become a bible to TV programmers and buyers around the world looking to continually improve their schedules.

Following a year of major disruption, K7 has promised the fourth edition explores the available data more deeply than ever before. The study includes the latest on format sales which gives insights into that producers and networks are investing in for the future.

For the first time in the K7 report, a spotlight is being shone on the hottest Asian TV formats and the key TV players in the region.

The top-performing genres of 2020 include quiz shows, talent shows, challenge-based game shows and factual entertainment dating shows.

TV formats

K7 Media’s CEO and founder, Keri Lewis Brown, said: “This last year has been unusual to say the least – with the TV industry unable to gather for its traditional events, but also benefiting from audiences that were compelled to stay at home, looking for a distraction from the real world. This may explain why we’ve seen the format market remaining resilient in the face of extraordinary problems, with sales and production options remaining steady.

“For this fourth edition of Tracking the Giants, we’ve explored data more deeply than ever before, introducing new categories, including, Territory of the Year and Public Service Format of the Year, as well as the in-depth analysis on the special focus Tracking the Asian Giants.

TV formats

You Can Ask That Australia

“We also note from direct conversations with companies around the world, many have taken the last year to refocus on developing new formats. If this is true across the industry, it seems likely that the 2021 and 2022 markets will see an exciting number of fresh launches that could shake things up in ways we’ve not seen since the format boom of the early 2000s.”

Australia’s hottest TV format

The hottest format to come out of Australia recently is the ABC’s You Can’t Ask That. The format finds a spot in the top 20 on the K7 chart and is one of only three Australian entries in the top 100.

Featuring participants from all walks of life, each episode of You Can’t Ask That focuses on a minority or sub-cultural group (including people of short stature, Muslims, sex workers, transgender people, suicide attempt survivors, former cult members, recent war veterans, ex-reality TV stars and more), and asks some very frank and often confronting questions, sourced from the public.

You Can’t Ask That is ABC Commercial’s most successful TV format, with 37 seasons in 9 different languages across 13 international productions.

“With its universal themes and unique ability to explore our differences, You Can’t Ask That has been extremely popular with audiences around the world,” Jessica Ellis, head of content sales and distribution, ABC Commercial, told Mediaweek. “The original Australian version of the show is currently in its sixth season on ABC TV, while international format sales go from strength to strength.

“The majority of territories where the series has been produced (including Canada, France, Italy, Israel, Poland, Norway and others) have commissioned multiple returning series, and we have current options in an additional 12 territories, including the US, India and Asia. We’re very pleased to see momentum on this fantastic show continue to build in scope and penetration.”

TV Formats

You Can’t Ask That Israel

Territory of the Year

With much of the most interesting activity in the unscripted format market coming from this region, K7 Media has named South Korea as Territory of the Year. The report notes that it has firmly established itself as a market heavyweight, with Rising Market of The Year, Vietnam, emerging as one of the most prolific importers of formats and the most active buyer in the region for the third year running.

In its 2020 TV predictions, K7 Media projected that Vietnam would be Asia’s next boom market. Consistent data does, in fact, suggest that the country is positioned to become a major player in format sales for the territory.

K7 Media offers bespoke research and media consulting services to broadcasters, streaming platforms, distributors and production companies. It continues to expand its current range of client services, while maintaining the delivery of highly sought-after media reports. Helping put together the K7 research is the Melbourne-based TV consultant and former group general manager of Foxtel’s Lifestyle brand, Hannah Barnes.

Tracking the Giants is now available to those subscribed to K7 Media’s services. To learn more about the business and the services it provides, visit

See also: You Can’t Ask That season six to air April 28th on ABC

You Can’t Ask That is an ABC Production. Series Director and Producer: Kirk Docker, Series Producer: Josh Schmidt, Executive Producer: Frances O’Riordan and Head of Entertainment: Nicholas Hayden.

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