The 5 famous TV shows you never knew were made in the Netherlands
The Amsterdam Area has an acumen for producing some of the world's most-watched programmes, with Amsterdam's media and broadcasting companies creating formats which are known and loved in households around the world. Read on to discover more about the famous television programmes created in the city.
Deal or No Deal
The hit gameshow sees contestants trying to find the biggest cash prize they can during a high-energy contest of nerves, luck and raw intuition. Each week, the game of odds and chance unfolds as a contestant eliminates 25 sealed briefcases (or, in some countries, boxes) full of varying amounts of cash, before picking one case – and cash amount – which is theirs to keep.
It's a simple game and one that ratchets up the tension as more and more cases disappear and the host takes phone calls from a mysterious banker. Originally starting as the Dutch Miljoenenjacht (Hunt for Millions), it enjoyed phenomenal success all around the world, being produced in more than 60 countries, including Thailand, Nigeria and Japan.
Did you know? In the US version of the show, contestant Richie Bell won just $1 after rejecting the final offer of $416,000 and the option to switch cases, which would've netted him $1,000,000.
Hit singing competition franchise The Voice originated in the Netherlands as ‘The Voice of Holland’, a format which was created by Dutchman John de Mol alongside Dutch singer Roel van Velzen. Focusing on singing talent alone, The Voice uses blind auditions and coaches who are top artists, producers and talents in the music industry, and the rotating chairs concept was invented by Van Velzen. After launching in 2011, the multi-award winning show is now licensed in 66 countries.
Did you know? Across the world, a combined 333 singers have won the television series The Voice, The Voice Kids, The Voice Teens and The Voice Senior.
If you don’t already know it, Big Brother was the show which really launched the television viewing public’s fascination with reality TV to new heights. Its premise is simple – get a number of contestants (or “housemates”) to live together in a specially-constructed house that has been completely cut off from the outside world. Over a period of months, housemates are voted out – until only one remains. That winner then gets a cash prize. During their stay in the house, contestants are continuously monitored by live television cameras and microphones.
Also created by John de Mol, the Dutch reality show was first broadcast in the Netherlands and was subsequently syndicated internationally. In total, there have now been almost 400 seasons of Big Brother broadcast in more than 50 countries and regions.
Did you know? The fifth US season introduced twins who were tasked with secretly switching back and forth in the house; they were eventually allowed to enter the house as individuals after succeeding at the deception for five weeks.
The American stunt/dare game aired on channel NBC from 2001 to 2006, and again in 2011, and then in 2017 by MTV. But Fear Factor was actually based on the original Dutch version: Now or Never. The show sees contestants battle each other in a variety of stunts for a cash prize. Broadcast from 1993 to 1998 in the Netherlands, Now or Never was presented by Rolf Wouters, and filmed in Aalsmeer and the town of Wassenaar.
Did you know? In the Dutch version people were asked to overcome some strange fears, including cats or camels and a dislike of dishwashing.
Dating in the Dark
Dating in the Dark (or Daten in het Donker in Dutch) is a reality show created in the Netherlands, where a trio of single men and women go on dates in, you guessed it, the dark. Kept in separate wings of the house, the three men and women can only interact on these pitch-black wooing sessions, before being revealed to each other at the climax of the show. After first being aired in 2009, the format has now been licensed in 20 countries around the world, including China, India and Chile.
Did you know? Some episodes have included sketch artists, who came in to draw contestants' impressions of each other.
Endemol is behind them all
You might not know it, but all of these shows were actually created by the same production company: Endemol. The Dutch media company was founded in 1994 by a merger of television production companies owned by Joop van den Ende and John de Mol (hence Ende-Mol), producing more than 15,000 hours of drama, reality television, comedy, game shows, entertainment and children's programming each year before becoming Endemol Shine Group (a joint-venture between 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management) in 2015.
Nowadays, Endemol Shine Group produces more than 800 productions in 79 territories airing on more than 287 channels around the world, and controls brand licensing rights to some of the most high profile and creative IP in the world, including entertainment formats, animation and games.