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Omri Marcus
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Omri Marcus is the CEO of The Comic Genome Project. He is also the founder and creative director of Comedy for a Change - an international conference on the power of comedy to drive forward social change.

Heralded as 'Israeli TV's Wunderkind' by Tablet Magazine, Marcus was a development partner at Red Arrow International, served as a senior writer on Israel’s top comedy panel show and continues to advise international and Israeli production companies on global TV and new-media trends.

Over the last 10 years, Marcus has been involved in the development and writing of major entertainment shows on Israeli TV. Among his successes is “Eretz Nehederet” (“What a Wonderful Country”), enjoying regular ratings of over 30% and winning 4 Israeli Academy Awards.

Marcus served as a senior writer on Israel’s top comedy panel show, as well as a consultant of Israeli production companies in analyzing global TV and new-media trends.
As a director in the development department for Israel’s leading TV network, Channel 2, Marcus is credited with the creation of the original reality series “Buzz Off”, recently sold to France, Spain, Ireland and China.
The show was short-listed for C21 Media international format awards 2009.

Over the last 10 years, Marcus has been involved in the development and writing of numerous major entertainment shows on Israeli TV. Among his successes is “Eretz Nehederet” (“What a Wonderful Country”), enjoying regular ratings of over 30% and winning 4 Israeli Academy Awards.

In 2009 the Format Academy for Entertainment, Television & New Media (EMC), granted Marcus its prestigious fellowship, given to professionals involved in designing the media of the future.

Over the last year he gave lectures about TV at MIP (Cannes, France), at NYU (New York City, USA) at the Rose DO'r festival (Lucerne, Switzerland), at the IDC's content lab (Herzelya, Israel), at the HIT (Holon, Israel) and at the last TALA Master-Class (Tel-Aviv, Israel).

In his spare time Marcus volunteers in his family humanitarian organization - Eye from Zion. The organization performs free medical surgeries in third world countries.

Entries by Omri Marcus

Comedy Can't Be "One Size Fits All": When Louis CK Meets Jenna Marbles

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2015 | 4:08 AM

More than half a decade ago, I wrote some thoughts about the future of comedy in the digital age. Without much modesty I can say that some of my assessments (such as the increasing use of technology and the social-media new kind of comedy) were spot-on, others completely...

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When Comedy Writers Changed the World

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 6:00 PM

In our loud, media-heavy environment, where our minds are exposed to an incessant bombardment of information, comedy truly can be a game changer. It can amplify your message. It can take a harsh, complicated reality and turn it into bite-size portions that are easier to digest. It can make strong...

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The Israeli Elections Are a Joke -- and Sometimes, They're Even Funny

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 3:17 PM

They say the only predictable thing in the Middle East is that the region is ridiculously unpredictable. In a reality of increasing violent events, a deteriorating feeling of community, a declining economy and no solutions around, you would expect the Israeli electorate to support serious people with deep, elaborate, fully-baked...

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Tinder TV: WTF Happened to Dating on My TV?

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 9:26 AM

RTL5's new dating show Adam zkt Eva sounds like an ordinary dating show. A bachelorette, and two suitors she needs to pick from. Nothing new. Oh, did I mention they are all completely naked and on a deserted island?

Not far from there -- over in cold Denmark, a small channel, DR3, had phenomenal success with their show -- Married at First Sight. Another dating show, only instead of the couple first meeting and then getting married -- here they get married first, and only then get to know each other.


All around the world dating shows are a staple of the entertainment industry. From the safety of our living room we enjoy the plights of those who left their comfort zone for the battle-fields of love. A cynic might say that seeing the contestants fail makes us all feel better about our own choices -- no matter if we are happily married, simply married or singles and spend our nights in front of the TV.

Dating shows used to be so simple -- a bachelorette in the studio and three bachelors behind the curtain. A few questions. She makes up her mind. Drums. The curtain opens. They hug and while the end credits run the audience gets the catharsis that Cinderella found her prince and they will live happily ever after.

The route of the prince to its princess changed dramatically in this era of Tinder and fake Facebook pages. We don't buy into the old shallow narrative anymore. We are skeptical and demand a more serious conflict. In return for our time and emotional engagement we demand the participant take greater risks and to be complete open and honest -- only then can we feel we are witnessing something real is happening and get insight into ourselves, our happiness, our relationships and the connection between those three.

Today's sophisticated audience gives shows developers a run for their money. To stay relevant, development people have to take the genre and break it into its components as if it's a mathematical equation. Every component must be replaced to create a new relevant story. Catfish (MTV) examined whether in a social-networks world there are actual princes? I Wanna Marry Harry (FOX) took the search for the prince to the extreme; Married at First Sight increased the risks when they changed the order and Adam and Eve, well, it's pretty obvious what they did...

On a personal note -- a year ago I developed a show for German television called Eye Contact. The premise was using a bachelorette and five men -- only she can't see them but only the world through their eyes. They all wore Google Glass and she watched as they interacted with the world (and other people's reactions to them). At dinner with her parents or where their eyes go when having a drink with her busty bestie. The outcome was another take on the topic -- from a different angle (pardon the pun).

The current wave of dating shows is just the beginning and just like real-life relationships in the 21st century, it's complicated and different and will generate loads of new perspectives on the subject. But at the end of the day -- we still want to see the princess find prince charming and go to bed with the feeling that fairytale love can...

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Five Lessons to Be Learned From International TV

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 4:43 PM

After quite a few years of attending TV markets, I can honestly say -- it's great fun. You learn a lot during the meetings at the stands and some of the panels are truly insightful. However, the real lessons are the ones I got after hours, and after a few...

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What Your TV Tweets Say About You?

(5) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 1:41 PM

When the social media frenzy collides with television obsession, sometimes it seems that television viewers are busier writing about their favorite shows than actually watching them.

In the past we had to wait until the morning after to wear our Fame t-shirt to school, Rachel's haircut or to use a...

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The DNA of Must-See TV: Where Don Draper Meets Honey Boo Boo

(1) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 11:21 AM

The nation's sweetheart Princess Susannah is kidnapped and the ransom for her safe return is that the prime minister of Britain will have sex with a pig live on national television. Now that's entertainment. It's the premise of the great British drama Black Mirror. For the next 44...

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Israeli Politics for Dummies 2013

(6) Comments | Posted January 7, 2013 | 6:41 PM

Here is a news flash -- nothing is going to change after the Israeli elections in a few weeks. Spoiler alert: The right wing parties will stay in power, and the Israelis will show once again that they want peace, just not with Arabs.

But the show must go...

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What the Viewers Demand -- and TV Still Struggles to Provide

(1) Comments | Posted September 17, 2012 | 5:07 PM

I grew up in the early 80s. Our living room had only one entertainment device -- a TV set. Fast forward 30 years and I can count almost ten devices in our bourgeois but very standard living room. All of them there do the exact same job -- entertain us:...

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Five Ways to Read the Paper and Keep Your Sanity Intact

(5) Comments | Posted December 3, 2011 | 2:57 PM

These days, starting your day with a newspaper can be a depressing experience. Each morning, we wake up to headlines about a crazy new law, another bizarre way to spend our tax money or another macho quote by the Foreign Minister.
When the news sucks, we are left with...

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The Multiplexing of Content

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2011 | 12:29 PM

The creators of the great sitcom Community did something brilliant on a recent episode. Allegedly it was just an episode like every other -- plot A and plot B that at the end had a meeting point. However, the sharp-sighted viewer got an added value: an entire plot line, completely...

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The Middle East and the Dead Dog in the Living Room

(9) Comments | Posted August 23, 2011 | 8:39 AM

The Middle East is a confusing place. Whenever I have guests from abroad and try to explain our crazy situation -- they lose track after 10-15 minutes. I always get the same desperate, tired look and the insight that logic in the Middle East is best described like the facebook...

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Why TV Genres Never Really Die

(2) Comments | Posted July 12, 2011 | 3:58 PM

If you Google the phrase "Sitcom is dead," you'll get not less than 17,900 results, quite an impressive number. All those informed articles analyzing audience's exhaustion with the genre, all those proclamations that sitcoms are on a one-way ticket to the TV graveyard.

Yet a look at today's television reveals...

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The Future of TV

(6) Comments | Posted April 16, 2010 | 4:49 PM

I've just finished watching The Virgin Show on Japanese TV. As the title implies, it takes one of the most intimate and vulnerable moments in a woman's life - that of losing her virginity, and brings into the living rooms of Japanese homes via the wonder - and...

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10 Ways to Write One-Liners

(9) Comments | Posted March 18, 2010 | 11:46 AM

One-liners (a.k.a. Monologue Jokes) are an important part of our lives. The average person laughs 38.2 times a day because of one-liner jokes. It's true - it's in Wikipedia. I wrote it there myself.

One-liners have grown more and more popular in recent decades. They've replaced our grandparents' humor,...

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Humor 2.0: What Will Be Funny in the Digital Era?

(5) Comments | Posted January 28, 2010 | 6:07 PM

Some would say that any attempt to guess what humor will look like in the future is pretentious and doomed to failure. On the other hand, betting on future economic developments is equally futile, and yet it is done all the time. Omri Marcus shares his two cents on what...

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Six Easy Ways to End the Conflict in the Middle East

(6) Comments | Posted August 29, 2009 | 5:28 PM

The world media is in a bizarre race these days. Everyone wants to get as many details as possible on President Obama's new plan to end the conflict in the Middle East. But let's face it - we all know the drill by heart. We shall experience an optimistic vibe...

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Can You Hear Me Now?

(1) Comments | Posted August 24, 2009 | 3:27 PM

Don't believe all that research that claims TV advertising has no impact. I saw such an outrageous ad last night that I almost threw a shoe at the screen. Here is the link.

Only recently Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu came to the States in order to defend...

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The Joke's On Us

(4) Comments | Posted April 19, 2009 | 12:30 PM

The conflict in the Middle East seems to have been going on forever. It's weird because everyone has a solution that will end the conflict. Politicians, diplomats, generals and taxi drivers have been fighting for years about whose solution is the most serious one.

Maybe it's about time, after...

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Benjamin Netanyahu for Dummies

(3) Comments | Posted February 9, 2009 | 12:27 PM

Unless some major surprise takes place in the next few hours (and in the Middle East everything is possible), Israel's next Prime Minister will be, once again, Benjamin Netanyahu. It's that old Jewish saying once again "the problem with political jokes is that at some point they become Prime Minister"....

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