Chat House contestants 311.
(photo credit: Erik Sahlin)
Erik Shalin writes for NoCamels.
If you are walking around Bat Yam, you might be confused into thinking you have
been transported to a Bollywood film production. That’s because for the past few
weeks, the city has been hosting over 40 Indian reality TV stars, producers and
film directors for a famous MTV India reality show that was invented in
The show, Chat House
is an original format created by Gili Golan
and Harel Josefson from Israeli Tanin Productions. Chat House
has seen over 1
million people tuning in after only a few episodes and sees the contestants
compete for a million rupee (NIS 70,00). The show blurs the lines between the
real and online world where the objective is to get as many members as possible
to your chat room.
Chat House blends a
traditional reality show with second life-type avatars. In the beginning of the
show, the contestants only know each other as online avatars. Later they are
introduced to each other in real life.
As opposed to other reality TV
shows like Big Brother with grueling eliminations, in Chat House the contestants
never get eliminated. The winner is simply the person who has amassed the
largest number of friends.
“If you don’t have friends, you have nothing.
That’s the tagline of the show,” says Josefson.
“The first time I heard
about the concept, I realized it was the next big thing,” says Shashwat Singh
from Rocket Productions PLC who is co-producing the show together with Tanin
Productions from Israel. “The most groundbreaking thing with this reality show
format is that it has no eliminations,” he tells NoCamels.
decided to shoot the show in Israel because of the “top-notch infrastructure” in
Bat Yam’s TV studios and also because the avatar technology used in the show is
an Israeli innovation.
“I had never been to Israel before so I didn’t know how the
country worked, but when I got here I realized that this place is a lot like
India [in its culture and set of complex problems],” says Shashwat
The format of the show was marketed for the first time during
MIPTV in Cannes earlier this year. MIPTV is the world’s biggest market for
television formats that brings buyers from all over the world. It immediately
attracted the interest of MTV India.
“They loved the avatar idea, because
second life is very popular in India and this is the only show that involves
something like Second Life in a television show,” says Gili Golan.
the show has been a hit in India, with a Facebook page that has over one million
fans and is growing by 50,000 new fans every day.
But it’s not only
Indian TV stars you might spot in the beach city of Bat Yam. Chat House has so
far also been sold to Russian, French and German Channels.
Israeli formats are very popular because they are smart and particularly cost
effective,” Golan tells NoCamels. “With the [current] economic situation, many
television companies look for shows that are cost effective.”NoCamels - lsraeli innovation news