Nigel Havers, Sophie Davant, Warner Bros., ZDF Studios Celebrate ‘Cash or Trash’s’ 10 Years, 10 Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

Celebrated actor Nigel Havers and French journalist Sophie Davant will join Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) and ZDF Studios to celebrate 10 years and a now 10 territory roll-out of antique auction show “Cash or Trash.”

The property is produced by WBITVP and distributed internationally by ZDF Studios. Celebrations will take place as part of WBITVP’s Formats Showcase, held March 2 at BAFTA during this year’s London TV Screenings.

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Havers (“Chariots of Fire,” “Finding Alice”) and Davant host the adaptations of “Cash or Trash,” on BBC One (“The Bidding Room”) and French public TV channel France 2 (“Affair Conclue”).

The celebration takes place as ZDF Studios confirmed Monday that brand new episodes of the format will air in 2023 in Austria (Servus TV), Greece (Star Channel), Germany (ZDF), France (France 2), Italy (Discovery), Poland (Polsat), and the U.K. (BBC One).  Slovakian Markiza TV and Czech TV Nova have also licensed their territories.

A Moroccan version broadcast this year on top TV channel 2M, marking the format’s North African debut.

The interest of “Cash or Trash” lies in its wild popularity in some of the countries it has aired in, led by Germany and France, so large potential for further international roll out.

It top ratings popularity comes, moreover — and it ‘s an issue which may well explain some dealings at this year’s London TV Screenings – as the percentage of global commissions that are unscripted has risen from 32% in 2019 Q4 to 49% 2020 Q2 and 52% 2022 Q4, as platforms and broadcasters alike drive to contain costs, according to an Ampere Analysis report.

An auction reality show launched in 2013 on German state TV channel ZDF as “Bares für Rares,” “Cash or Trash” has run to over 100 series and 6,500 episodes produced worldwide by WBITVP.  

When it catches fire, the show can prove wildly popular, rating as the No. 1 unscripted daytime series from 2017 to date in both Germany and France, generating  in the latter country a primetime version, three spin-off series and 2,900 episodes.

Cash or Trash - France
Cash or Trash – France

In the U.K., “Cash or Trash” has run to five seasons; in Italy, a third has been commissioned for 2023 by Discovery Italy.

Much of that success can be put down to an astute mix of money bait  – everybody would like to think their attic has hidden riches – and suspense-driven auction action as a motley group of dealers attempt to outbid one another to secure family heirlooms and other oddities brought to the show by members of the general public.

Before the auction, an expert delivers an estimate of the real market value of these items, whether, as in one episode of “Bares for Rares,” a woodland oil painting from Theodor Olsen, (1855-1909) a skilled Hamburg artist, or a late Biedermeier sofa made over 1840-60. The expert also delivers a steady stream of fascinating nuggets of knowledge for the historically-minded, such as that the painting in a necklace brought in on the same episode is famed salon beauty Julie Recammier (1777-1849. But it was made only 50-60 years ago since painted on card not bone.

“Cash or Trash” is also distinguished by the charm of its hosts, such as TV cook Horst Lichter in “Bares for Rares” with his early aviator’s moustache, or Havers himself, and its gentle psychological observance such as, for example, when the camera is trained in close-up on sellers when they are informed that their collectible is worth just half of what they thought.

“In addition to the worldwide distribution of the finished episodes, VOD, licensing and merchandising rights, we are pleased to be able to offer a popular ‘antique show format’ from ZDF, which perfectly complements our format catalogue,” said Sylvia Brucker, director of entertainment at ZDF Studios. “The idea of ‘Cash or Trash’ has a proven success record, is attractive and adaptable worldwide.”

“We’re thrilled to be celebrating a decade of success for ‘Cash or Trash.’ The longevity of this programme, its continued presence at the top of ratings list and its ability to generate international editions for daytime and prime time are testament to its enduring appeal,” observed Andrew Zein, SVP creative, format development and sales, WBITVP.

At the Formats Showcase, he added, Havers and Davant buyers will walk buyers through “how the promise of hidden treasures and the thrill of a bargain continue to entice viewers and participants alike.”

Cash or Trash - Morocco
Cash or Trash – Morocco

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