Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Israeli media powerhouse Keshet, has forged a partnership with Huace Group/Croton Media, one of China’s largest production companies, on a two-pronged deal which will see Keshet Studios optioning Huace Group/Croton Media’s “Dating Hunter” for the U.S. market, marking the first ever Chinese format to be potentially re-versioned for American TV audiences.
Huace Group/Croton Media is also developing local versions of Keshet’s award-winning scripted properties “Traffic Light” and “Loaded” for Chinese audiences.
The Keshet International projects are in pre-production in China with broadcasters yet to be attached, as is customary in the Chinese market. That said, the plan is for the Chinese version of “Traffic Light” to be produced in 2016-2017 and broadcast in China in 2018. These titles will become two of a handful of scripted formats to be imported to China from outside of Asia, according to Keshet.
“Traffic Light” revolves around three guys in their thirties, their enduring friendship and the very different cards that life deals them. It was recently voted Israel’s most loved scripted series of all time. “Loaded” is a skein about a group of very successful onetime geeks, now owners of a digital gaming company and worth millions.
Huace Group/Croton Media’s “Dating Hunter” centers on a sharp publicist who hires a group of “emotional planners “ and opens a successful digital dating agency after his ad agency goes bankrupt. “Dating Hunter” aired simultaneously on four satellite TV channels in China, driving the average rating of each one by more than 30% compared to its slot average. The show also broke the rating record for the most watched “city themed” drama of 2014 on two of these four channels. It also aired on five major Chinese websites racking up more than 1 billion views, according to Keshet.
“I’m delighted to announce this reciprocal deal with Huace Group/Croton Media which demonstrates the versatility and global appeal of each company’s formats,” said Keshet International’s Alon Shtruzman in a statement. “It is also a firm step towards furthering our growth in the burgeoning Chinese market,” he added.
“We are looking forward to an open collaboration with Keshet International from which we can broaden our business vision, enhance our strengths and complement each other towards achieving a “win-win” for all,” enthused Liu Zhi, Vice President at Huace Group/Croton Media. “We not only produce scripted shows that are loved by Chinese audiences, but via KI’s global distribution business we can share these Chinese stories with the world.”
In July, Keshet Intl. has established Keshet Studios, a new L.A.-based studio that will oversee development, production, packaging, promotion and sales of scripted programming activities in the U.S.