A Chinese version of “Worst Driver” will screen on the iQIYI streaming video platform from early next year.
That follows a deal between Passion Distribution of the U.K. and Chinese producer and distributor IPCN. The agreement is the first sale of the hit format in Asia.
The 13-episode Chinese show will be produced by Shanghai Media Group’s New Business Unit. “We think ‘Worst Driver’ will bring audiences new viewer experiences and create great opportunities for SMG New Media Business'” said Lin Zhiqiang, VP of SMG New Media Business Unit.
The British show was originally produced by Mentorn Media for Channel 5 in the U.K. and has been produced in over 20 territories including U.S., Australia, Germany and Sweden.
“’Worst Driver’ is a fun and entertaining format but also sends a very positive social message that encourages safe and orderly driving manners. The show has a great potential to generate debate on social media, which is imperative for us to consider when acquiring and licensing a format for an online platform,” said Jimmy Harmsen, head of acquisitions at IPCN.
The format rights are being pitched by Passion at the Asia Television Forum, part of the Singapore Media Festival.
“Now it is China’s turn to unearth its very worst, and most hilarious, motorists. iQIYI has an enormous viewer base so it’s an exciting prospect that the format could potentially reach a new audience of many millions online,” said Nick Tanner, Passion Distribution’s senior sales manager.
Founded in 2007, Shanghai- and London-based, IPCN has been responsible for more than 35 major format deals, bringing in excess of 5,000 hours of international TV to China, including “Secret Millionaire,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Super Nanny,” “China’s Got Talent” and “The Voice of China.”
London-based Passion became part of the Tinopolis Group in 2012 merging with Mentorn International and increasing the catalogue with brands such as “An Idiot Abroad” and “Paradise Hotel.”