FremantleMedia has launched Familiar Taste (pictured), the first Chinese property the firm has brought to the MIPCOM market as part of its wider strategy to use its network to give local producers an international platform for their content.
The series features well-known faces thanking those people who have had a major impact on their lives by sharing with them a surprise meal they have cooked themselves. It was co-developed by Chinese broadcaster Zhejiang Satellite and prodco Purity Media, with the deal to distribute the format rights internationally brokered by Vivian Yin, CEO of FremantleMedia China, following a successful competitive pitch with other international producers and distributors.
Each week, Familiar Taste features a celebrity who prepares a surprise culinary treat for a person they love and admire. Through interviews, viewers learn why the person means so much to the celebrity and the significance of the dish that’s prepared. The show’s hosts guide the celebrity through the process, accompanying them as they shop for the best produce, advising them on meal prep and helping to dress the dining space.
“We are so delighted that this Chinese format can be distributed to the world. And we hope that by this kind of culture spread, we could let the world better understand China,” said Hanging Yu, director of strategic development center at Zhejiang Satellite TV Station, said in a release.
Vasha Wallace, executive VP of global acquisitions & development, FremantleMedia added that the company is “really excited that we can support Zhejiang Satellite and Purity Media in providing a showcase for [the format] at MIPCOM 2016.”
According to Fremantle, the series’ first season was a success when it debuted on Zhejianfg Satellite earlier on in 2016, coming in first in its time slot, and it’s already been commissioned for a second season.
In other news, FremantleMedia International (FMI) and Chinese digital platform Youku have extended a multi-year digital deal they originally signed in 2013 for another three years.
According to FMI, it was one of the first indie distrubutors to strike a deal of such scale with the platform, using it to crack the lucrative Chinese streaming market, and it continues to be a major contributor to Youku’s lineup. The deal ensures a variety of FMI’s premium entertainment and drama content, including series such as America’s Got Talent and Project Runway, will continue to be available to Chinese online audiences which, says FMI, average 130 million unique users a day, adding that Youku also boasts 240 million mobile users.
In a statement, Yang Weidong, president of Heyi Group (Youku Tudou) and CEO of Alibaba Music Group, said Youku will make joint efforts to further bring high quality content to young users in China through constant collaboration, with Youku endeavoring to introduce successful series to China from the world.
Taking a wide selection of content exclusively for its VOD channels youku.com and tudou.com, more than 100 hours of FMI programming with be available on Youku.