BBC America moves into original programming

US cable network BBC America is to launch two unscripted factual entertainment series, marking its first moves into original local production.

The broadcaster, which is owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British public broadcaster, is launching Would You Rather with Graham Norton and Hard Drive with Richard Hammond.

The 13x30mins Would You Rather with Graham Norton, which is produced by So Television, is a gameshow that will launch as part of the channel’s new comedy block.

Hard Drive with Richard Hammond, which is 6x1hour and produced by BBC Worldwide Productions, is a local remake of British format World’s Toughest Driving Tests and the network will run it alongside Top Gear.

The channel has also put five new original series in development including James May’s Man Lab U.S, a remake of the British format, cooking series No Kitchen Required, which is produced by IAC-owned Notional, Auto Biography, a vintage car series produced by Reveille, Battlemodo, a technology show produced by True Entertainment and Gawker Media, and a one hour special / back door pilot of Shock Therapy, which is adapted from British format Fat & Fatter.