Fox champions Eccho’s Japanese format

US broadcast network will premiere a local version of Japanese format Beat the Champions later this month.

The 21st Century Fox-owned network has struck a deal wit format distributor Eccho Rights for the show, and will run a primetime special on June 30.

The format, originally from TV Asahi, see select amateurs pit themselves against sport stars, with the professional given increasingly absurd handicaps and the wannabes more and more help. The less help the amateurs use, the more money they ultimately win.

The US special will feature NBA basketball champion Scottie Pippen, American Football player Rob Gronkowski, Olympic swimming Gold medalist Missy Franklin and Saturday Night Live alum Finesse Mitchell, the latter of whom will host.

Asahi has run its local version for more than a decade, while Germany’s Tresor, Sweden’s Elk Entertainment, the Netherlands’s Tuvalu, Shine France Shine and the Middle East’s Imagic have all worked on local versions.

The deal comes months after Sony Pictures Television-owned Embassy Row acquired production rights to Asahi Broadcasting Corp’s Wizard Chef.

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