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Endemol in the Zone with reality TV

Japanese pubcaster NHK earlier aired 'Worlds Apart'

Endemol Intl. has inked with Zone Vision Networks to license edgy reality shows “There’s Something About Miriam” and “Fool Around With… ” for broadcast on Zone Vision’s Reality Channel in Japan.

As part of the deal, Zone Vision will also broadcast “Fool Around With… ” on its female-oriented Club Channel in South Korea.

Deal for finished product marks only the second time Endemol has sold a reality show to Japan. Japanese pubcaster NHK earlier aired “Worlds Apart,” a quasi-adventure, quasi-reality show.

Japanese broadcasters have previously resisted reality formats, acknowledged Steve Cole, senior VP of channels for Zone Vision.

The Reality Channel is on Sky Perfect, as well as cable and IPTV in Japan.

In “There’s Something About Miriam,” a group of guys attempt to woo a beautiful woman, but there is a catch. Legal tussles ensued when “Miriam” first aired in the U.K. after some of the contestants became distressed to find, in the end, that Miriam wasn’t a woman.

“Fool Around With… ” pits attached guys against a single guy for the attentions of a lady, who gives the show its racy edge by sleeping with a different guy every evening.

Deal announced Wednesday comes one day after Endemol signed a nonbinding letter of intent to form a joint venture with Dutch telco KPN to exploit Endemol content through all KPN platforms in the Dutch market. Accord will cover digital theme channels for KPN TV and access to Endemol content through video-on-demand, the Internet and mobile.

Joint venture will have access to the Endemol library as well as produce new programming.

Also on the Dutch agenda, Zone Vision will launch the Horror Channel in Holland in its first stop in what’s expected to become an international rollout. The 24-hour web will start up in April on the UPC Netherlands Platform. UPC and Zone Vision are subsidiaries of U.S. media conglom Liberty Global.

Endemol is said to be in talks with BT and Home Choice about launching its own thematic channels on broadband in the U.K. in a similar joint venture deal.

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