Mansfield's format tips

Mansfield's format tips

By Lynn Barlow,
Wednesday, 11th February 2015
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Grant Mansfield says you need to develop a thick skin

Grant MansfieldGrant Mansfield (Credit: Jon Craig)

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm," TV executive Grant Mansfield, borrowing a line from Winston Churchill, told RTS Bristol's first event of the year.

Development producers from across the region joined the audience at Aardman Animation's Bristol HQ to hear Mansfield, whose new global production company, Plimsoll Productions, has an office in the city, talk about US format markets.


Mansfield has had more success than many in the highly competitive market of popular formats and returnable brands, both in the UK and the US.

Before moving to California, he was responsible for Driving School and Vets in Practice at BBC Bristol. At RDF TV, where he was Managing Director, his credits included Ladette to Lady, Holiday Showdown and Dickinson's Real Deal. As CEO of Zodiak USA, he had Secret Millionaire, Celebrity Wife Swap and Killer Karaoke in his portfolio.

Mansfield talked about the importance of working with an agent in the US and developing a thick skin. He said that commissioners are courteous and polite to everyone, whether they like an idea or not. "It's the emotional, not necessarily intellectual, pull that gets commissioners listening," he told the RTS event, titled "Crossing the pond: the secret of developing returnable formats for the global market".

Read more television magazineUnashamedly populist in his approach, Mansfield urged the audience to work on understanding the American viewer.

He quoted Woody Allen to illustrate his point: "In California, they don't throw their garbage away, they make it into TV shows" – but added, "Of course, that's not true."