ROME – NBCUniversal International Formats has inked a deal with Discovery Italia which will produce “Top Chef” for its free-to-air channel Deejay TV in a move likely to shake-up Italy’s changing generalist TV landscape.

The Italian version of the hit unscripted cooking competition format will be produced and broadcast in 2016 on Deejay, a niche Italo station now making the transition into a top-tier  generalist channel after being purchased by Discovery Italia in January.

The deal will mark the 18th local production for “Top Chef” which boasts an audience of over 110 million viewers globally.

After becoming an Emmy Award winning hit on Bravo in the U.S., where it has been running for 13 seasons, and performing successfully in Europe on M6 in France, and on Antena3 in Spain, Deejay is hoping for an equally successful run with ‘Top Chef” in Italy, a statement said.

‘“Top Chef” is a great format and Discovery Italia is excited to bring to the Italian audience this international hit” enthused Laura Carafoli, SVP Content and Programming, Discovery Networks International.

Rival format “MasterChef” is a solid staple in Italy on Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia paybox where it is now in its fourth season.