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The fall of Network 13: the story behind the great failure of "Peking Express" - voila! culture

2024-02-25T22:12:44.591Z

Highlights: The ratings are fading, the industry is turning their noses up - a chain's big bet on "Peking Express" crashes and is expected to bring it into huge losses. Industry officials are convinced that this is not just the war - culture is also a factor. "In a time of war, such a program is too escapist. Why should you care if contestants have money, when there are much more fateful questions?", says one source. Another source adds: "I think there were attempts to make a good format, I'm not sure the result is satisfactory"


The ratings are fading, the industry is turning their noses up - a chain's big bet on "Peking Express" crashes and is expected to bring it into huge losses. Industry officials are convinced that this is not just the war


From "Peking Express"/Network 13

A source in the industry: "When we are in the hijacked 'reality', in quotation marks, we have no emotional appeals at all to the contestants of reality shows like 'Peking Express'. Even 'The Next Star', despite the ratings it did, did not provoke a great deal of talk or buzz because we have no emotional appeals to it Our hearts are currently with the families of the abductees"

The reality show "Peking Express" is expected to cause Network 13 heavy losses of many millions of shekels if it does not undergo a dramatic change after its unsuccessful opening - this is the estimate in conversations with Walla!

Culture is a number of factors in the industry.

So far, "Beijing Express" is as far from its goals of success as Israel is from China.

Sources in the industry estimate the cost of each episode at 1.1 million shekels, and according to another estimate the cost of the entire season is about 33 million shekels.

In order not to lose, a network had to record at least (!) 14 percent ratings per episode, and some believe no less than 15.

Unfortunately for the network, the ratings data for the last programs reached only about half of the target, and in addition to that, the last programs (the fourth, fifth and sixth) lost a very large amount (between more than a third and almost half) of the number of viewers in the first program.

In addition to the low ratings, the program also does not really generate a significant buzz or much media resonance.



There are several reasons why "Beijing Express" is not successful at the moment, and one of them is its rise during the Gaza war.

The program was originally planned to launch on October 10, but due to the war, its launch was postponed to February 11.

Even so, some eyebrows have been raised in the industry over the puzzling choice to bring it up now.

"When we are in the hijacked 'reality', reality in quotation marks of course, in my opinion we have no emotional appeals to the contestants of reality shows, no matter which one," says an industry official who is well versed in reality shows.

"We know all the abductees so well, know so much about their lives, our emotional connection to them is so strong, and we have no requests to bring new people into our lives. I think that even 'The Next Star,' despite the ratings it did, did not arouse much talk or buzz Because we don't have any emotional appeals to it. If there weren't videos in the finals to explain to me who the contestants are, I wouldn't know who they are. Our hearts right now are with the families of the abductees, those who are still in Gaza and those who have returned. We want to know what happened to them, there are no emotional appeals for a reality show , in contrast perhaps to 'The Winning Kitchen' which is a few individual episodes and you know the celebs there. There is no room for us to bring the contestants from 'Peking Express' into our lives."

Oz Zahavi in ​​the reality show "Peking Express" of network 13/Walla!, Micah Loubton, network PR

The industry estimates that "Peking Express" will cause the network a heavy loss of many millions of NIS. The cost of each episode is about 1.1 million NIS and the cost of the entire season is about 33 million NIS. In order not to lose, a network had to register at least 14 percent Rating per episode. Unfortunately, in the last episodes it only reached half of the target

Another source in the industry agrees: "In a time of war, such a program is too escapist. Why should you care if the contestants have money or not, when there are much more fateful questions?".

Another source adds: "I think we are all so preoccupied with the war that it is very difficult to generate talk about anything other than it."



Another TV content person believes that the justification for the war is insufficient.

"The war can be some kind of excuse that will help the network explain the data, but I don't think it's everything. It's easiest to say that because of the war the viewers don't have the patience for it, but in my opinion that's only a small part of the reasons. The product also has to be a good product in the end. I think there were attempts to make a good format, I'm not sure the result is satisfactory. I mean, I don't know how well the viewers can follow the show that shows for a large part of the episode how many rides the contestants got and how they got food. Maybe it's nice in the first episodes, but how can you carry a season like this, where Are you constantly fighting for rides, food, a place to sleep and doing combos? I don't know if the viewer has the ability."

Oz Zahavi and contestants in the reality show "Peking Express"/Network 13

An industry executive: "In my opinion, this production can cause the industry to be destroyed. There is a real fear that in the end there will only be one strong channel like Keshet. Then there will be less money for productions. If a network collapses, it will be a disaster for the industry because of idiots who don't know how to manage the event."

In an interview published earlier this month in Vala!

Barangay with Assaf Gil, founder and director of Gil Productions, one of the most successful producers in Israel who also signed on to produce "Peking Express", he was asked by David Wertheim if following the war there was any thought of shelving "Peking Express".

"There was no thought of burying, nor is there any reason to bury," he said.

"It's a fascinating reality show that to a large extent defines the Israeli genome, a topic that is being discussed a lot now. It tells an accurate story when it comes to the behavior of Israelis abroad."



In response to the question of whether there is a fear that survival reality show will not work because our reality is much more difficult when there are abductees in Gaza, Gil replied: "Yes, absolutely, but these concerns occupied us in the previous months, less so now.

It's important to me to say that no one in this reality show was really in danger of survival because it turns out, and this is what the format carefully examines, that when we have no one to trust to take care of us, we take care of ourselves very well and find strength and resourcefulness that are sometimes surprising to find food, a place to sleep and a way to get around, because The dollar a day is of course not enough for anything."



The big question now is where the show is going and if a network will find the resourcefulness to save it. Here are some figures: The opening episode of "Peking Express" that aired on February 11 registered only 11.3 (340 thousand viewers), compared to 15 percent (411 thousand) to Keshet's "Winning Kitchen". The second episode of "Beijing Express" dropped to 9.3 (258 thousand), the third episode dropped further to 8 (243 thousand), and the fourth and fifth episodes dropped to a real low - 6.9 ( 196 thousand) and 7.1 (180 thousand) respectively. In the sixth episode of last night there was a minor increase to 7.4 (202 thousand).

The fourth, fifth and sixth programs of the expensive reality show had lower ratings in the number of viewers and in two of them also in the viewing percentages than the cheap studio program "The Patriots" on channel 14.



The fact that the ratings in half of the programs so far reached only half of the estimated viewing percentage that was required in order not to lose, alongside the dramatic drop in the numbers The viewers after the first episode, which reached almost half, are very stressed by network officials.

However, there are those on the channel who emphasize that additional viewers were added during the continuation viewing.

The channel knows very well that the data is not encouraging in relation to the financial investment and the high expectations.



"If the fourth and fifth episodes only have half the number of viewers that were in the first episode - then the product itself is probably not good enough," says a leading source in the industry.

"If it was good - viewers could join. If they didn't join - cut in half, with a trending decrease in the number of viewers from episode to episode (until the fifth episode - Saturday).

It could be that the editing isn't good enough, it could be because of network problems - and it could be because people expected to see 'The Race to a Million' and were disappointed that it wasn't it."

More in Walla!

How do you broadcast reality TV to a traumatized country?

The strongest producer in Israel believes that this is actually the solution

To the full article

Gave up a winning horse?

"The race for a million"/Adi Orni

David Wertheim, Walla Barangay: "In the network, the CEOs and the management change every year and a half - not something that converges with the time in which television works.

To produce and produce such a reality show, two or three years of work are needed.

Such an operation under constant changes of professional rank in the channel becomes difficult and produces amps"

The reality show "Peking Express" entered the "Race to the Million" slot, from which Network 13 separated due to its high costs.

"The Race for a Million" as I recall moved to Keshet 12, was filmed, is in an advanced editing stage and is waiting for a new placement, after the original date planned for its release at the beginning of this year and postponed due to the war has already passed.

According to estimates, the price of an episode of "The Race for a Million" is about one and a half million shekels, compared to about one million and 100 thousand per episode of "Peking Express".

A number of different executives in the industry defined in conversations with Walla!

Culture this move of a network as "giving up a winning horse".

One of them wondered: "Why did a network throw away the 'Race to a Million', a much better format that still works in the world, and take its Ali Express version? It's clear that the competitors jumped on the 'Race to a Million'."



A second executive voiced a similar criticism: "A network could have produced 'Race to a Million' for a sum that was only a little more than the price of 'Peking Express,' and in my view it is a mistake that they didn't do that. The audience of the network got used to getting the real thing - and they got something similar but Not the real thing. 'The Race' was one of the most successful formats of the network, and more importantly - it was the most family-oriented reality format of the network, with the least swearing, conspiracies and intrigues, in contrast to 'Survival' and 'Big Brother.' They should insist on doing their successful format, and the beginning of the mistake is that they didn't do it."

More in Walla!

It's a historic moment in our television, and it's boring to death

To the full article

Who are you, Network 13?/Reuven Castro

Senior executives in the industry: "Why did Network throw away the winning horse 'The Race to a Million', a format that still works around the world, and take an Ali Express version of it?" didn't do it"

"It is difficult to refer to 'Peking Express' without looking at the general situation of Channel 13 in recent years and the pattern that characterizes all the productions on the channel in these years - not only those of reality," says David Wertheim, editor of Walla!

Barangay.

"A pattern that includes changes of CEOs and entire management hives, on average every year and a half - not something that coincides with the time units in which television works.

It should be understood: to produce and produce a reality show of this magnitude, two to three years of work are needed, when planning the programming and marketing of the series is just as critical as its production.

Such an operation under constant changes of professional rank in the channel becomes difficult, and produces quite a few amps.

Does the person who approved the production see eye to eye with the person who is now doomed to produce promos for her?

Does the fact that the promo department is outsourced at all help?

Is the fact that the channel currently doesn't even have a CEO who can approve and monitor the final product helpful?"



"And there are also broader questions," adds Wertheim.

"Does the channel, which currently ranks third most often in the viewership chart, still need to provide products like reality? Is it able to bring in a sufficient mass of viewers? How does it fit in with a nod to the center-left audience in recent years - an audience that is not considered to be characterized as a target audience for the genre? Or in other words: who are you, Network 13? Bottom line, the weakness of Network 13 is not budgetary or professional, but managerial. Until this is resolved, it will be very difficult for it to achieve goals that can return the investment in productions of this magnitude."



An esteemed TV personality who has worked for many years in Reshet's programs claims that the product received on the network is professionally inferior to that of Keshet: "My problem with Reshet is that it currently has no monitoring mechanisms. And lacks professional knowledge. If you request every frame and everything you do is carefully approved by The employees are there, and there are content conversations about every decision and choice of an editor, that doesn't happen on the network anymore, unlike in the past, there are no oversight mechanisms. And then what happens there is this: whatever comes out - I'm satisfied."

Another media person says similar things: "The feeling is that there is no owner on the network. I don't know who controls things there and who is the person who can say about episodes 'this is good, this is not good', 'it needs to be changed one way or another'. I don't know who The person who takes ownership of the content shown to viewers."



Another problem, which has also characterized Reshet in the past, is shifts in the program's placement days.

In the first week, one of the broadcast days was Monday, in the second week the program was moved from Monday to Tuesday (Sunday and Saturday remained unchanged, according to the time).

"The network does not have the privilege of changing the days of a program," says a source who works with a network.

More in Walla!

"I encourage demonstrations of free-thinking people. These are the people we should be"

To the full article

Contestants in the reality show "Peking Express"/Network 13

Oz Zahavi in ​​the reality show "Peking Express"/Ariel Plischuk, Network 13

A source in the network showed optimism about the change in trend and claimed that more interesting moves are expected in "Beijing Express" that could boost the data.

According to him, it is too early to judge a new reality show after five shows, and it takes time for people to connect to a format they are not familiar with

Can "Beijing Express" still be saved?

Almost all the industry figures we spoke with expressed pessimism.

However, a source in the network showed optimism about the change in the trend and claimed that more interesting moves are expected in "Beijing Express" that could boost the data.

The source in the network claims that it is too early to judge a new reality show after six shows, and that it takes time for people to connect to a format they are not familiar with.



If there is no turning point and "Peking Express" continues to falter, how will this affect investment in expensive productions on the network and in the industry in general in the future - and the placement of reality shows that have already been filmed?

"It really depends on the deep pockets of the owners," says one of the industry sources.

"From the point of view of the controlling owner of the network, Len Blavatnik, the price of these productions is not a lot of money. For him, it is like the price of a watermelon for us. But for the industry, this investment is very important. The question is whether the owner will have the patience. In the network, the risk level of expensive productions is much greater than a request It is possible that the 'Peking Express' case will affect the courage of the people who have to make decisions and their hands will shake more when they have to sign a new major production. This has happened before - a network wanted to make a project that competes with 'Ninja Israel', they started producing it And they stopped in the middle. Let's also mention that they did 'Israel's next restaurant,' a program with a lot of money, and it collapsed. So there is a question mark as to how much courage the next CEO and the next person in charge of the broadcast schedule will have."



Another senior source in the industry says that also Bekeshet now has a fear of bringing up reality shows that are on the shelf because of the war - a fear that may be strengthened against the background of the failure of "Peking Express".

Even if they say it will go up in the summer, you never know if it will happen in the summer.

The costs of this are very high and Keshet, in my opinion, gambled a lot here.

She can't bleed money, she has to bring in money.

That's why Keshet isn't showing 'The Betrayers' now, and to my understanding it's not at all known where this show is going now.

Keshet has the privilege of not airing programs because they have enough on the shelf." The



failure of "Peking Express" is stressing TV people from the formation of a domino effect that could damage the entire industry. "In my opinion, this production can cause the industry to be destroyed," says an industry executive.



This is not an exaggerated dramatization "



There is a real fear that in the end there will be only one strong channel like Keshet.

So there will be less money for productions.

Remember that Channel 14 does not produce original productions, nor do the Cellcom and Partner channels.

It is true that there is the corporation and Yes Hot that are measuring, but if a network collapses it will be a disaster for the industry because of idiots who do not know how to manage the event."



The situation is so strange that they hope that 'Peking Express' will not collapse. "I don't think there is joy in Eid al What's happening online.

There is more mercy.

In my opinion, all industry people do not want the network to collapse.

We want a network to work and be present, because lack of competition is not good for anyone.

I would be happy if they were successful, in the end our industry is very small, and if a network loses its power, the industry can get lost and reach a situation where they might suddenly only do small things.

It's not good and not fun, what can we give the viewers?

I think even the senior people at Beshet would not want the network to be a glorious failure and do not want it to collapse.

In my opinion, they want the network to be just a 'small failure', not a grand one."

network response

Meshet 13 responded: "The launch of Peking Express took place in a challenging and unprecedented time in Israel, when public attention is low, and from the beginning it was taken into account that the program would take longer than usual to gain momentum. We stand behind the program and are proud of it. Peking Express is a new, different and daring format, with a plot that develops Gradually, and contestants who are not typical reality contestants that the Israeli viewer is used to seeing on the screen. Their personal stories and their relationships will be revealed gradually later, and in combination with additional twists that are expected soon, we believe that the viewers will sit in the charm of the contestants and the charm of the program."

  • More on the same topic:

  • Gaza war

  • War of Iron Swords

  • Network

  • Beijing Express

  • Rainbow

  • The Amazing Race

  • reality show

Source: walla

All tech articles on 2024-02-25

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