MIPTV 2013 Hearts Kevin (Hart)

by Jennifer Needham, VIMN UK

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The Cote D’Azur was laughing whole-HART-edly earlier this month as comedian, actor and producer Kevin Hart joined Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) to kick off events at MIPTV 2013, the bi-annual international television market and creative forum.  Hart was excited to showcase BET’s brand new, faux reality show “Real Husbands of Hollywood” as it launched for international syndication.

Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO, BET Networks; Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks; Mike Armstrong, SVP and General Manager, BET International and Paramount Channel; and MIP veteran, Caroline Beaton, SVP of International Programme Sales, VIMN all joined Hart to celebrate the international syndication of the hit BET program. Hart was elated to see his show’s global appeal when he tweeted to his 7 million+ followers: “This is crazy, they got pictures of my show “Real Husbands of Hollywood” all over Cannes, France #MIPTVFestival #RHOH #international comedic rockstar”.

At a cocktail reception full of content buyers, Viacom representatives and international press, Caroline Beaton introduced Kevin Hart to speak and within seconds he had everyone roaring with laughter with his quick wit and outrageous one-liners. He was keen to stress that he’s not your typical LA celebrity and is very eager to chat with anyone — once they’ve cleared it with his assistant, of course! He spoke passionately about the unique strength of the show and the standout ratings it secured in the US (claiming confidently “the numbers don’t lie, people”). Kevin relinquished the mic and then met with and took photos with all the attendees.

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Inspired by Viacom’s hottest new franchise and its unique take on the reality genre, Caroline Beaton participated in a panel session for MIP Formats, to discuss and explore “New Perspectives on Reality”.  Speaking alongside Felix Wessler, Business Development Manager at FilmPool / All3Media, the session, moderated by Ed Waller, Editor of international TV trade outlet, C21, explored the newest trends and examined how the genre is steadily evolving, providing a timely opportunity to showcase Viacom’s broader, unparalleled reality portfolio.

Addressing the impact of social media on today’s content landscape (spanning all genres, not just reality) Beaton identified that the new shows of today owe as much to the viewer’s themselves as they do to the programme-makers.   Social media is not only used to create a buzz around content and engage audiences; but it enables audiences to take charge, declare what they like and don’t like. For example, Real Husbands of Hollywood is a show borne from a two-minute sketch that debuted and created social buzz at the 2011 BET Awards. The tables have turned and as Caroline was quick to state, To be successful, content creators must channel this new reality.”

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