British and American TV formats kick off in China this week.
Blighty’s Granada Intl. has licensed its hit entertainment format “Saturday Night Takeaway” to Hunan TV, while a localized version of CBS Paramount’s “America’s Next Top Model” debuts on Sichuan Cable TV.
Hunan TV, one of the country’s leading broadcasters, is making 13 episodes of “Super 2008: Friday Night Takeaway,” which bows Friday, said Nadine Nohr, managing director of Granada Intl., a unit of commercial broadcaster ITV.
A few things will change in the local show: In the original version, the winner of a phone-in quiz gets to ride a giant model pig stuffed with cash. In China, winners will ride a hippo because the Chinese characters in the word pig are the same as those in the family names of presenters Jiong He and Ke Ma.
James Ross, Granada Intl.’s regional director for Asia, said making local versions of skeins is a key part of its strategy to develop a presence in China. British producers have had their sights on the potentially lucrative Chinese TV market for many years, but few have succeeded in securing meaningful long-term deals.
Meanwhile, the producers of “China’s Next Top Model” hope to get around the recently beefed-up ban on risque TV shows by screening it at 10:30 p.m.
“China’s Next Top Model” will be the first skein to test the morality waters since the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television banned reality shows with “vulgar content” from primetime — 7:30-10:30 p.m.