Israeli Cross-Platform Interactive Reality Show Lets Viewers Control Every Aspect of Contestants' Lives

--Viewers Decide What Contestants "Wear, Eat and Hear, Whom they Sleep with" and More

Dori Media Group, an Israeli TV formats, production and distribution company best known for its telenovelas, announced last week that its interactive cross-platform "control game"/reality show, "uMan" (known in Israel as "Megudalim"), has won three Accolade Awards: an Award of Excellence for reality programming, an Award of Merit for creativity and originality, and an Award of Merit for viewer impact and entertainment value (note: according to Dori Media, the awards recognize "film, television and videography professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change").

According to the company, the show, which launched in July on mobile phones, the Internet and TV, is based on an idea that was developed by its Dori New Media arm, and is produced by its Dori Media Darset arm in partnership with Israeli mobile carrier, Cellcom. The 24/7 show sees eight contestants confined to a "lab" for 21 days, during which their every move is controlled by viewers. According to Dori Media, "the viewers--and only the viewers--have the control to determine everything for the contestants: what they wear, eat and hear, whom they sleep with or whether they sleep at all. As days go by," the company explains, "viewers can give contestants tools to advance in the game or simply ignore them, in which case, these uMans will disappear, never to return. The winning contestant will be the last uMan standing."

Dori Media claims that "uMans," which it was marketing at the recent MIPCOM show, has proved highly successful in Israel: during its 21-day run, the company says, 7 million viewer votes were cast online and 700,000 unique users (out of a total population of 7 million) visited the show's site, spending an average of 12 minutes there. According to the company, a second season of the show "is already in the works."