ITV, Hunan make program pact

Duo to develop reality shows for world market

ITV Studios and China’s Hunan Television have pacted to jointly develop and license entertainment formats in what’s believed to be the first such deal for China with a Western producer.

The shows created under the deal will air on Hunan Satellite Television, while the production arm of the U.K. commercial web will have international rights outside China to the finished shows and formats.

In the past Hunan has made local versions of formats such as the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” on which ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” is based.The pact with ITV follows a producer exchange program between the two parties.

Deal is quite a coup for ITV Studios, which is changing the way it operates internationally by forming partnerships outside the U.K.

Lee Bartlett, managing director of ITV Studios, said, “China’s television format industry has tremendous potential for international growth and, until now, has been relatively untapped.”

Hunan Television prexy Ouyang Changlin said, “I believe that the collaboration will bring Hunan TV’s entry into the international market one step closer.”

ITV Studio’s successful global formats include “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Come Dine With Me.”

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