Network pacts with Fremantle for gameshow

Fox has pacted with “American Idol” producer FremantleMedia North America to produce a U.S. version of the successful Japanese gameshow “Hole in the Wall.”

Stunt-based skein is a sort of human version of the videogame Tetris. Players, dressed in spandex and hard hats, face down a moving barrier that features ever-changing cut-out shapes. They have to contort their bodies every which way in order to fit through the wall or else end up being swept into a pool of water.

Players compete in teams, making coordination and quick thinking necessary to win. Teams gain or lose points depending on whether they manage to stay dry through each round.

Fuji TV launched “Hole in the Wall” in July 2006. FremantleMedia has since produced eight international versions of the format in countries such as Australia, Russia and India.

FremantleMedia North America chief exec Cecile Frot-Coutaz said the format “has a universal comedic appeal with viewers of all ages across multiple platforms,” noting clips of “Hole” have attracted more than 5 million hits on YouTube over the past six to nine months.

Frot-Coutaz indicated FMNA and Fox are looking to develop “Hole” as a family-friendly skein. Network has ordered a pilot and will decide later this year whether to greenlight the project to series.

Stuart Krasnow will join Frot-Coutaz as exec producer of the Fox version of “Hole.” Krasnow has extensive gamer experience, last year producing FremantleMedia North America’s “Gameshow Marathon” for CBS.

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