China’s Hunan TV is to co-produce “Acting Up” with Endemol Shine Group. The talent show is the first product of a wider agreement between the two companies announced in October last year.

“Acting Up” is a new talent format where up-and-coming actors vie for roles in real Chinese scripted drama films. The pilot is currently in pre-production with a targeted release for the second half of 2019. The show is being launched this week at MipTV.

“Following a series of creative exchanges and on-location workshops, we are all happy to see the pilot come together. It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience working hand-in-hand with ES China’s team throughout the format development process,” said Lester Hu, head of formats and international business, Hunan TV. “Acting Up” will be produced by An Desheng and his team.

The partnership was unveiled at MIPCOM last year and has since been approved by China’s National Radio and Television Administration, the companies said. This is in line with the Chinese government’s call for further content innovation and content export. The combined co-development team is led by Hu and Rebecca De Young, Endemol Shine China’s head of content.

“Long-term strategic partnerships are key for us in China as they deliver exciting and innovative content for both local and international markets,” said William Tan, MD of Endemol in China. Recent and forthcoming non-scripted series from Endemol Shine China include a new season of “Puzzle Masters,” a collaboration with Vision Media which is now airing on Jiangsu TV; and the international format distribution of the cultural studio show “The Nation’s Greatest Treasures” with CCTV. Also coming up are local-language scripted co-productions such as TV Land’s American smash hit “Younger,” with Huace Group; Kudos and AMC’s “Humans” with Croton Media and Matador; and “Broadchurch” with Blue&White&Red Pictures and Cloudwood.

Hunan TV, which is one of China’s leading regional broadcasters, is putting a greater emphasis on original content production. In addition to a film and TV deal with Lionsgate signed in 2015, Hunan TV is the Chinese home to international format hits including “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” “Anything Goes,” “Strictly Come Dancing,” “1 VS 100,” “I’m A Singer” and “Daddy Where Are We Going.” “The Sound,” a format developed by Hunan TV was recently picked up for global distribution by The Story Lab.