In what is believed to be a South African first, living brands agency Stimulii sold a TV format into the American market at the recent MIPTV content market in Cannes, France. Ugly Betty producer Ben Silverman, whose other credits include The Office and The Biggest Loser, acquired the rights to Simulii's Thumb Wars.

Stimulii director Samantha Moon reports that the show has also generated interest from a further 20 international territories. "Some are even looking to acquire the existing 10 South African episodes. In addition, discussions are underway for a potential co-production of the series in South Africa for Italian TV."

The show, broadcast on SABC2 last year, was sponsored by Vodacom and created by Stimulii as a means to showcase and integrate the mobile operator's cellular technologies.

Says Stimulii co-director Grazyna Koscielska; "Thumb Wars became proof that we could start with a brand and its objectives, and create high octane prime time entertainment that works for both the brand and the viewer alike."

Thumb Wars will be co-produced in the US by Silverman's new company Electus and Engine Entertainment.

Source: http://www.screenafrica.com