Ben Silverman in the ‘Kitchen’

Electus heats up Asian drama import

Ben Silverman has found another international TV format to bring to the U.S.

The man who helped import the BBC’s “The Office” and Colombian telenovela “Ugly Betty” has set his sights on Asian format “The Kitchen Musical.” The distribution arm of his company, Electus, has struck a deal with Singapore-based the Group Entertainment in association with Small World IFT. to take Stateside the scripted drama, which has “Glee”-esque musical elements set in the culinary world.

Silverman’s goal is to land “Kitchen” on a broadcast network once he begins formally pitching in September. ” We think it’s a big, broad, accessible idea that’s got a bit of everything: a cooking element, a musical, an ‘Upstairs/Downstairs’ dynamic and a little bit of ‘Romeo and Juliet,'” he said.

“Kitchen” is set to debut in October across 18 countries in Asia over a mix of broadcast and pay TV channels. A TV musical will mark a first for the region. The story concerns a rich girl who goes to work at a restaurant after graduating from famed Paris culinary school Le Cordon Bleu.

Electus would co-produce the U.S. version and retain distribution rights across all platforms. The Asian version is currently being shot in Singapore. “We are excited to be teaming up with Electus/Engine Distribution to bring this never-before-seen multiplatform format to audiences all over the world,” said Nelia Sutrisno, CEO of the Group Entertainment.

Silverman said he’s already got an experienced showrunner and choreographer-director who he can’t yet identify on board and will look to add top talent as well. He also sees “Kitchen” as a property with plenty of ancillary possibilities given what he’s seeing being exploited already in Asia, including a cookbook, live tour and stage musical.

While this is Electus’ first scripted format in Asia, the company has been busy locking up formats from other spots on the globe for American adaptations. Last year, Silverman sold the Spanish format “I Hate This Place” to ABC with Sofia Vergara attached as a producer, and it will soon take out another format from South America, “Mafia Dolls.”

More TV

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Writers Guild Leaders Warn Members About Contact With Fired Agents

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America are warning members about being contacted by their former agents — asserting that such efforts are an attempt to undermine the WGA and its members. The missive, sent Tuesday from the WGA negotiating committee, came with the guild in a bitter three-month standoff with talent agents that appears [...]

  • Mike Fleiss

    ‘The Bachelor’ Creator Mike Fleiss Accused of Attacking Wife

    “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” creator Mike Fleiss has been accused of attacking his wife Laura Fleiss at their home in Hawaii on July 4, according to documents obtained by Variety. The documents show that Laura Fleiss, who is currently pregnant, filed for an emergency domestic violence restraining order against her husband after he allegedly [...]

  • James Cordon Drag Race Handmaids Tale

    Emmys Trivia: 20 Surprising Facts From 2019's Nominations

    For a show that technically wasn’t eligible at the Emmy Awards in 2019, “The Handmaid’s Tale” did quite well this year. The Hulu drama picked up 11 nominations, including major ones like outstanding directing, writing, guest actress and guest actor, thanks to a quirk in the TV Academy’s Emmy rules. As previously noted, most of [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost

    'Schitt's Creek' Emmy Nominations Give Boost to Pop's Profile

    The core executive team at Pop TV expected to be disappointed, but they still gathered at the CBS-owned cable channel’s Playa Vista offices early Tuesday morning for the reveal of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. They were not disappointed. “Schitt’s Creek,” the quirky comedy series that has punched above its weight for Pop since [...]

  • Beyonce-HOMECOMING-Netflix

    Beyoncé, Sara Bareilles Vie for First Emmys as Ramin Djawadi Looks to Reclaim Throne

    Beyoncé and Sara Bareilles could add Emmy trophies to their awards shelves this year, having been nominated in key music categories Tuesday by the Television Academy. Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” special on Netflix was nominated in six categories, and four of those include a nod for the pop superstar herself. Only one of those is in a [...]

  • Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli

    Disney Content Sales President Janice Marinelli to Depart

    Janice Marinelli, president of global sales and marketing at Walt Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment, said Tuesday that she would step down from her role after a 34-year career at the company. “It has been an honor to work for this company and a privilege to work with so many outstanding professionals,” said Marinelli in [...]

  • Dusty Slay

    Late-Night Bookers Take to the Internet in Search of Emerging Comics

    With Netflix releasing a comedy special every week and YouTube offering a portal into both cutting-edge performance and the best comedy sets in history, it’s never been easier for audiences to access an endless stream of standup. But for fledgling comics, there’s still no more game-changing showcase than a five-minute slot on a late-night talk [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content