“An Emmy Award, a healthy dose of guts and a heart for the people mark our success”
1 . ‘Make Belgium Great Again’ provides 47,000 organ donors
This past year, presenter Frances Lefebure and her team tried to make our country a better place. From the first episode on it was a hit. After a call out to the people in the VTM program more than 47,000 viewers registered as an organ donor. On average there are 7,000 to 8,000 registrations per year in Flanders. Thanks to the program, nearly 250 municipalities opened their doors on Sunday 23 September so people could register as organ donors.
“This program proves that cross-media collaborations can lead to amazing results. Radio, TV and print together reached a very large audience and had a social impact.”
2 . ‘Blind Getrouwd’ and ‘Boer Zoekt Vrouw’ captivate more than 1 million viewers
Two dating formats managed to stand out from the competition due to their great authenticity. In Blind Getrouwd, currently in its fourth season, couples marry on the basis of scientific matches. In Boer Zoekt Vrouw: De Wereld Rond , successful Flemish farmers who live and work abroad were looking for the love of their lives.
“What makes those programs so unique, lies in the fact that they are no trashy TV that makes fun of people, but positive programs that people talk about: at home, at work and on social media. More than 1 million people watched each week. We are proud of it.”
3. Hoe Zal Ik Het Zeggen? wins an Emmy Award
In Hoe zal ik het zeggen, presenter Jens Dendoncker conveys messages to unsuspecting people in playful and original ways. At the end of 2018, this VTM program was awarded an International Emmy in New York. For the makers of production house Shelter this is the third International Emmy Award. They already won this prestigious television award for Benidorm Bastards and Wat Als?.
“This program proves that Flanders plays a role at an international level when it comes to making television. What the makers achieved is impressive. Especially when you know that the format and the presenter were completely unknown. Meanwhile, the second season easily exceeded one million viewers.”
4. Family television for young and old
Last year, VTM especially focused on the weekend programming. Davy Parmentier remembers first and foremost Wat een Jaar! This nostalgic game show with Koen Wauters revealed itself as a genuine time machine. Which hits did we hum in 1986 ? Which clothing style did you wear to impress in 1973? The Voice Senior jumps out too. The show featured talented 60plus seniors demonstrating their musical skills on stage.
“Together with the fifth season of Belgium Got Talent, these formats embody the heart of VTM: family television for young and old. We just know that these are programs viewed by the whole family. In times when young people are mainly busy with their smartphone, that is very exceptional.”
5. 13 Geboden shows a healthy dose of guts
In 13 Geboden a criminal wants to give the world a conscience by basing his atrocities on the 10 Commandments. Critics described this home grown series as the Belgian answer to Scandinavian crime series like The Bridge and The Killing. In the meantime, the series also scored in the United Kingdom under the name 13 Commandments (Channel 4) and in the United States (Amazon).
“With this series we have taken a big risk. It was dreary, dingy and dark. Moreover, thirteen weeks is a long time to be running for a fiction series. But its success proves that a healthy dose of guts is indispensable for a successful TV station.