Endemol Shine China and Asian content producer and broadcaster Hunan TV have entered into a co-development deal that will see both parties team up to create formats for local audiences and international exploitation.
Under the partnership, both companies will work closely together to co-create multiple new unscripted television formats for the local Chinese linear broadcast market, and identify opportunities for international distribution.
The collaboration has already begun via a series of local development sessions. Ten format ideas have already been presented by Endemol Shine China to Hunan TV, which they are now developing further together with the goal of a prime time series release in early 2019.
“We have worked very closely with Hunan TV over the years, delivering Chinese adaptations of global hit formats such as Your Face Sounds Familiar and Anything Goes, both of which achieved fantastic ratings in China,” said William Tan, managing director of Endemol Shine China, in a statement. “I am very pleased that we are now embarking on this exciting co-development adventure together, building on the opportunities presented by the vibrant Chinese content creation market, and in line with the Chinese government’s call for further content innovation and content export.
“Long-term strategic partnerships will continue to be key for us in China and we look forward to developing further collaboration opportunities in order to deliver exciting and novel content for the local and international markets,” he added.
The move follows the launch of Hunan TV’s Biu Project, a monthly internal pitch competition amongst approximately 20 in-house production teams and studios, and the channel’s introduction of China’s first pilot production system for television. Based on the performances of the fresh formats, Hunan will then decide whether to commission a full series, usually 10 to 12 episodes.
“Format co-development has been a buzzword in China for years,” added Lester Hu, head of formats and international business, Hunan TV. “But this is not about simply taking something from distributors’ catalogs. What Hunan TV is really after is co-developing original content from scratch with our partners in China.
“By combing our strong in-house production unit with our unique pilot system, our goal is to roll out original formats to the world after these are tested in the local Chinese market,” he added. “We are extremely pleased that Endemol Shine China is willing to embark on such an exciting journey with us and we trust that this collaboration will bring about tremendous new opportunities.”