Warner Bros. is looking to expand its reach in China into TV production with a deal to adapt “Gossip Girl” for Mandarin-lingo auds.
Deal is a first on the smallscreen side for the studio, which has been revving up its international TV production activity on several fronts in recent years. Pact for “Gossip Girl” adaptation was orchestrated by China’s H&R Century TV and Mei Tian Mei Yu with L.A.-based Metan Development Group and Warner Bros. Intl. Television Production, spearheaded by senior veep Andrew Zein.
“Gossip Girl” exec producers Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz will consult on the production.
The untitled series will revolve around a clutch of collegiates at Shanghai Intl. U. and, like “Gossip Girl,” it will incorporate the tell-all tales recorded by a blog penned by one of the key characters.
There is no TV outlet for the show yet, but the partners are targeting a November debut. Prominent Chinese actress Yang Mi is set for a recurring role.
H&R prexy Zhong Junyan called the partnership an effort to “forge a new form of drama series in China.”
Metan Development Group was founded in 2009 by industry vets including Marty Pompadur and E! co-founder Larry Namer to develop content for international markets.
Warner Bros.’ recent efforts to grow its international TV footprint include its acquisition of U.K. production powerhouse Shed Media and a partnership inked earlier this month to developed formats with Japan’s TV Asahi.