In the mid-1990s, three men had three unique and revolutionary ideas for television shows entitled Cash Mountain, Survive, and Project X. Time and time again, they were each rejected by major the networks as theor projects were declared unfit for production. Rather than give up on their dreams, Paul Smith, Charlie Parsons, and John de Mol instead pushed ahead and went on to produce shows which quickly became the biggest and most successful programs on Earth: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Survivor, and Big Brother. This is the compelling story of how three men defied overwhelming odds to take the television industry by storm, make personal fortunes, and transform the map of popular culture.
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Peter Bazalgette is a television executive.Review:
'Bazalgette writes as you would expect - with style, erudition and authority. His account is big and brainy, a hugely impressive appreciation of the technological, social and economic factors shaping our times. The businessman in Bazalgette clearly admires de Mol, the entertainer in him leavens the plot with laugh-out-loud anecdotes while the scholar gets down the fruit of his 160 interviews in details. He is authoritative on social change, the democratisation of content and the opportunity created by change on this scale . . . the book is a fine account of an extraordinary time in the history of television, a time when its activities transcended the small screen and became a part of everyone's conversation, young and old, believers and dissenters, powerful; and powerless' Richard Eyre, former ITV chief, BROADCAST MAGAZINE 'This book is breathtaking' NEW STATESMAN 'Bazalgette is plainly well qualified to write this book: in effect, a history of the origins and worldwide success of Big Brother. The book is always readable; it accounts of the shock and outrage that have accompanied Big Brother's various manifestations are particularly enjoyable' INDEPENDENT 'This is a rattling good business story as well as a tale from medialand' GUARDIAN
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