Don’t Forget the Lyrics is what you would describe as ‘guilty pleasure’ TV. It is Saturday night light entertainment at its best; you don’t need to think about it too much, you can join in at home to test your own music knowledge and scream at the TV when the contestants look like they’re about to get it wrong. Or maybe that’s just me.
And, it’s hosted by Shane Ritchie in the UK. Another guilty pleasure. Or, again, maybe that’s just me.
For RDF Rights, Don’t Forget the Lyrics represents the chance to further boost its licensing activity. Launched last year on Sky One, it regularly gets half a million viewers or more, so there is certainly an audience out there for consumer products.
“Our main aims are to capitalise and consolidate on the brand’s TV success to date,” explains Jane Kennedy, senior UK licensing manager at RDF Rights, “working with licensees to expand and develop product categories where relevant and to introduce new products and new designs.”
Although it is very early days for the licensing programme, RDF has earmarked CDs, board games, interactive DVDs, SWP games, mobile, online, consumer electronics, seasonal gifting and promotions as possible categories for the brand.
“Lifestyle is probably not a direction we would take the brand in, as the products naturally aligned to the brand sit more within the gifting and novelty categories,” Kennedy continues. “But stranger things have happened I guess; never say never.”
While RDF is driving the UK licensing, in the US rights are represented by Fox, which is the broadcaster of the show over there. As well as these two territories, Don’t Forget the Lyrics has enjoyed healthy format sales. So far, the show has been sold to Spain, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Belgium, Portugal, Malaysia, Poland, Brazil, Turkey, Italy, Israel, Croatia, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, Greece and Russia. Meanwhile, the US version is distributed in France, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Korea.
"It’s a testament to the quality of the format that the show is going into new territories and continues to be re-commissioned throughout the world, despite the economic downturn,” says Barnaby Shingleton, head of light entertainment at RDF Rights. “Broadcasters are increasingly relying on proven formats and Don’t Forget the Lyrics is a fantastic returnable franchise.”
Back to the licensing programme, though, and Kennedy believes that the show offers enough difference to make it a hit at retail as well as on screen. “There are quite a few different singing/music shows out there, so I guess competition would be the biggest challenge. That said, we believe that Don’t Forget the Lyrics offers a point of difference in that ours is the only memory show where the focus is on the lyrics as opposed to singing talent.”
With the TV going so well, in five years time RDF is hoping to be well into its fifth or sixth season, with Ritchie still at the helm. “In terms of consumer products,” concludes Kennedy, “we would hope to have an established programme at retail, with a core range of innovative gifting and games products regularly being refreshed.”