For evidence of the modern era in China, look no further than “Xin Hun Gong Yu,” the Mandarin-language adaptation of “Mad About You” set to premiere in January.
The comedy series produced by Sony Pictures TV has been picked up in China by pay TV channel Dragon TV, with secondary airings on the streaming service Youku Tudou. Sony has produced 30 hourlong episodes through Huaso Film/TV Digital Production, a joint venture between Sony and CCTV6’s HuaCheng Pictures.
Croton Media is also a producer on the series that stars married actors Li Jiahang and Li Sheng in the roles originated on NBC in the 1990s by Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt.
Sony Pictures TV initiated the production nearly a year ago, before “Xin Hun Gong Yu” (which roughly translates to “Wedding Apartment”) landed a local outlet. Andrea Wong, Sony Pictures TV’s president of international production, spearheaded the drive to get the show on the air in the world’s most populous country.
Chinese screenwriter Shu Huan has adapted many of the original “Mad About You” scripts. The series retains its focus as a romantic comedy revolving around a young couple trying to sustain wedded bliss despite numerous hurdles.
“With ‘Xin Hun Gong Yu,’ we have combined SPT’s expertise in Hollywood storytelling with strong local writing talent to create a comedy that captures the spirit of the original series in a way that is authentically Chinese,” Wong said.
Other Sony TV formats that have aired in China include adaptations of talk show “Dr. Oz,” game show “Raid the Cage” and the competition series “Dance Nation.” The studio also produces local-language adaptations of sitcoms “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “I Dream of Jeannie” for the Indian market.