‘The Big Deal’: U.S. Version Of Irish Variety Competition Series In The Works At Fox As ‘Fame Or Fortune’

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EXCLUSIVE: A variety competition format first trialed in Ireland as part of Fox’s international formats fund is on its way to the U.S.

The Big Deal, which aired on Ireland’s Virgin Media Television as the first show to come out of the Fox Alternative Entertainment scheme, is now in the works for Fox in the States.

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Deadline understands that it will be known as Fame or Fortune in the U.S. and it is currently in the development stage.

The six-part series features variety acts performing for the judges, with each offered a deal to either accept a cash payment or bet on themselves and hope they’ve impressed the judges enough to make it to the final.

The series, which is presented by model Vogue Williams and includes celebrity judges such as Boy George, launched in September on a Saturday night, drawing similar numbers to what The X Factor was averaging.

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It is a co-production between Ireland’s BiggerStage and Fox Alternative Entertainment, with the latter funding the series to allow it to trial it, and own it, with the hope of bringing it back to the U.S., which is now looking to do.

Rob Wade, president of alternative entertainment and specials at Fox, told Deadline, “We’re working with a lot of international networks now on new stuff, which is really out of the box and different. They’re the kind of shows that you can’t really pilot and to put straight on to your own network would be a little scary without a little bit more R&D.”

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He said there’s more pressure than ever on unscripted shows needing to stand out in order to find an audience and a network can’t just will a new show to work. “It’s got to stand up and be able to be measured by the other great hits out there, whether that be a Big Brother or a Masked Singer or The Bachelor. You have to be patient until you have that thing.”

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