Hidden Talent licensed for Canadian TV development

Michelle Clancy | 07-10-2013

Bristow Global Media (BGM) has acquired the format rights for Canada to the factual series Hidden Talent, owned by American Express and Silver River Productions.

The hour-long prime-time series Hidden Talent will see hundreds of people from across the country tested to discover their hidden physical, mental, sensory or creative skills.

Hidden talents could be the ability to become fluent in a foreign language in a matter of months, the ability to free-dive and hold one's breath for more than four minutes at depths of more than 60 metres, the rare talent to instinctively detect lies or have the natural ability and physiology to become an opera singer. After initial testing overseen by scientists and academics, a select few will be chosen to go forward and given the opportunity to develop their skills by training with experts. A series of challenges will test if their new found talents can change their lives.

This is the first format deal done by former CBC executive Julie Bristow under her content creation company. The agreement was brokered by Group M Entertainment, who will co-produce on behalf of American Express.

"Hidden Talent is a powerful transformational idea that finds extraordinary stories in ordinary people and changes lives forever. It's wonderful having this as our first project," said Bristow.

Prior to launching BGM, Bristow was executive director of studio and unscripted programming at CBC, where she has created more than 1,500 hours of original content and innovative ways to reach new audiences. She has overseen industry heavyweights such as the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games, Hockey Night in Canada, Dragons Den, Battle of the Blades and George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight.