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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April, 2005, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Millionaire dominates global TV
Russian Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Russia is just one of the countries which have bought Millionaire
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is leading the way in "format TV", with 106 countries screening their own version of the quiz show.

The trend in format TV - programmes bought and copied wholesale for different countries - is now worth 1.6bn each year, a report shows.

The Weakest Link is the second most popular show, selling to 98 countries, followed by Pop Idol in 30 markets.

Britain is leading the genre, with 29% of all formats originating in the UK.

The Netherlands - home to Big Brother creator Endemol - is second, producing 19% of formatted shows.

The report, compiled by media researchers Screen Digest in association with the Format Recognition and Protection Association (Frapa), suggested there was no signs in the trend slowing up.

In the past three years there has been a 35% rise in the number of formatted shows, with Australia, Sweden, Norway and France all keen to snap up popular programmes for their own audiences.

Makeover trend

Germany is the biggest importer of formatted shows, picking up the majority of popular programmes including Big Brother and Pop Idol.

Gameshows dominate, taking up 50% of the total hours dedicated to format TV, largely due to the success of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.

Reality shows such as Big Brother, Survivor and Fame Academy account for 25% of broadcasting time dedicated to format TV.

The fastest-growing genre is makeover shows such as The Swan and Extreme Makeover, which Living TV bought from the US for a UK version.

"The format industry is here to stay and the rapid grown in the volume and value of the format business in the last three years is a testament to an industry going from strength to strength," said report author Daniel Schmitt.

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