ASIA IN ‘FAMILY’ WAY

It looks like family feuds are going to break out across Southeast Asia.

Not marital squabbles, but versions of the U.S. “Family Feud” gameshow being customized for each market by Reg Grundy Prods.

The prototype, launched on Indonesian web AnTeve in October, now commands a 42 share stripped five days a week at 5:30 p.m., according to Tony Skinner, Grundy VP production for Asia.

The Singapore-based exec spent much of the time at the recent Mip Asia market in Hong Kong lining up a slew of Grundy productions – light entertainment and drama serials – in the region for next year.

Broadcasters in Malaysia and the Philippines want their own versions of “Family Feud,” which Skinner says will probably be made in Jakarta, where AnTeve’s studios house the expensive set, with hosts and contestants brought in.

Flag planting

Aiming to plant the Grundy flag as widely as possible across Asia, usually working with local partners, Skinner is developing a roster that includes:

* A gameshow and a drama serial produced in mainland China utilizing a co-venture between Pearson (Grundy’s parent) and the Beijing Broadcasting Institute, a film and TV school training institution. Skinner says the Beijing Institute was awarded one of the last production licenses from the government, which now are virtually unobtainable. He expects to use Chinese writers to adapt one of Grundy’s old soaps such as “The Young Doctors.”

* Adapting another Grundy staple such as “Neighbors” for a Hong Kong broadcaster, in the same vein as the Italo version of that serial.

* A light entertainment show for a Korean broadcaster.

* At least two new programs for Indonesian webs.

Noting a recent trend toward co-productions between regional broadcasters, such as the serial “College” (a Malaysian-Indonesian co-venture), Skinner is discussing similar arrangements with Asian webs.

In the “Family Feud” deal with AnTeve, the broadcaster pays three-quarters of the production cost, while Grundy provides the crew and produces the show for a fee.

Profit margins in Asia are slender, the exec acknowledges, but he’s happy to build up a volume business. He figures Pearson’s strategy of taking stakes in regional broadcasters (such as Hong Kong’s TVB) and in production companies will help accelerate Grundy’s expansion in Asia.

Cultural change

“Family Feud” has triggered a marked change in at least one Indonesian cultural habit. Skinner says that people touching in public is taboo there.

That was until the gameshow started, and the compere was instructed to have tactile contact with contestants: for example, pointing them toward the cameras rather than the studio audience. AnTeve execs initially said this was a no-no. The power of television and slick Grundy production techniques have disproved that.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading