Fox set to Release the Hounds with US format deal

ReleaseTheHoundsUS broadcaster Fox is set to air a local version of horror gameshow format Release the Hounds, TBI has learned.

The US Release the Hounds commission has not been officially announced by Fox, but the US network is expected to confirm it shortly.

The order will be a major coup for Gogglebox Entertainment, the UK producer that created the format and also mark another statement of intent from Simon Andreae, the Fox reality boss who recently replaced Mike Darnell.

Production details are thin on the ground but the US version is expected to run to six one-hour episodes and be part of Fox’s fall schedule.

The US one-hour series will likely be filmed in the UK and at the same country manor as the original UK show. It will be produced by Gogglebox.

The Release the Hounds format has contestants compete over a round of suspense-filled horror-themed challenges for a cash prize. The winner ultimately has to escape from the grounds of a country house while being pursued by a pack of hounds.

Fox has recently axed The X Factor USA and is winding down another talent show, American Idol. Having been appointed executive VP of alternative entertainment last October, Simon Andreae’s first programming move was to greenlight a US version of Talpa’s hot new reality format Utopia and this marks an another order for an internationally-originated series.

Former Channel 4 and Discovery executive Andreae was setting up a production business under the Sony Pictures Television umbrella before landing the Fox job. Release the Hounds creator Gogglebox is also owned by SPT, which also handles international sales of the finished show and the format.

The UK version went out as a one-off special on ITV2 late last year and the channel subsequently repeated it and then ordered a full series. It generated middling ratings but huge social media interest.

TBI recently broke the news that a German version has been ordered by free-to-air broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1. There are no other international agreements yet in place, but the Fox deal will massively raise the profile of the show.

Fox, Gogglebox and SPT all declined to comment.

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