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April 04, 2024

Beating boundaries: 99 to beat conquers the world

After the format of 99 to Beat has already been thriving in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Norway and Vietnam, the UK has now also succumbed to it. The game show originally started as a daily column in ‘Iedereen Beroemd’. Meanwhile, it became a standalone programme on VRT 1; after which it was also adopted as such abroad. In the game show, 100 people compete against each other in a variety of assignments. Those tasks test everyday skills, and range from running with a tray to unrolling a toilet roll as fast as possible to literally searching for a needle in a haystack. After each round, the candidate who performed worst needed leave the programme. Those that never finish last win and get to crown themselves 99 to Beat for a year.

A few years ago, the '99 to Beat' column became an instant success on the daily Iedereen Beroemd programme.

Jo Dehennin, editor-in-chief of Iedereen Beroemd: "In 2017, when members of the VRT 1 crew of Iedereen Beroemd and production house De Chinesen gave the initial impetus during a brainstorming weekend to what is known today as 99 to Beat, we already believed it was a strong idea. But we only dared to hope that it would become such a successful and long-running format . We also dreamed aloud that the potential extended further and decided to make an international trailer. With success, as the format was picked up in other countries to make full-fledged and primetime programmes. We can only be proud of the creativity and hard work of everyone involved, which today still determines the success of 99 to Beat ."

Lieven Vermaele, Director of Partnerships and Operations: "We are very excited that 99 to Beat is being picked up in so many countries and this way we can highlight our Flemish creativity internationally. Because VRT invests in original homegrown ideas, these concepts can also get a second life elsewhere. That is what we want to achieve with VRT Sales. That way, another country benefits from the creativity and know-how of our Flemish creators. Our Flemish originality is closely watched internationally. The income linked to these sales reinvests VRT in the production sector to come up with new concepts, which in turn will hopefully also get a second life."

Simone de Pruyssenaere de la Woestyne, Director Sales & Acquisitions at Primitives, says: "We are very excited about 99 to beat coming to UK audiences. The highly entertaining format, based on a simple but compelling premise, is its biggest asset. We can't wait to see this new version and are confident it will captivate and entertain viewers in the UK."

From the Netherlands over Poland to the UK

Just now, the UK announced that they will make their own version of the popular game format. 99 to Beat has been running for nine seasons in the Netherlands, has five seasons in Poland and four seasons in Germany. The format also already crossed over to Sweden and Norway, and a first season is in the works in Vietnam. Norway, the Netherlands and Germany are currently still working on new seasons of the programme. A VIP version featuring famous people has also already been made in several countries.

Currently, it is the second season of 99 to Beat in its home country that can be seen every Saturday on VRT 1. Not only internationally, the series is picked up or special versions are made. In Belgium too: Ketnet already made several children's versions called 99 to Beat Ketnet, in which 25 children competed against each other.

99 to Beat is a format by VRT and production house De Chinezen and was reworked by Talpa Networks into a standalone programme. International distribution is by Flemish distributor Primitives.