ITV Studios is teaming with Hunan TV to develop entertainment shows for the Chinese broadcaster. Under the terms of a three-year deal ITV and Hunan will co-develop shows that will air in China with ITV Studios taking the international rights and distributing the content outside China.
Hunan will license ITV formats as well as co-developing new ideas with the UK company. The first shows, which will be produced locally by Hunan, will transmit this year. The focus will be on reality formats. ITV’s top-selling unscripted formats include I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Come Dine With Me, although no specific programmes have been mentioned in relation to the Chinese deal.
The deal was announced by ITV Studios managing director Lee Bartlett who said the Chinese TV industry has huge, untapped, potential in terms of format creation.
ITV Studios has inked a handful of production pacts since Bartlett joined from Fox in 2008. In the same year it agreed a deal with Fox whereby each agreed to scour the other’s catalogue with a view to remaking shows for their respective domestic markets. At the time ITV said Dharma and Greg would be remade for UK audiences although that has yet to happen.
ITV also inked a deal with NBC under the terms of which the US network agreed to take three programmes from the UK company. NBC officially announced the first of these last week – a US remake of UK cop series Prime Suspect.