Amsterdam-based indie distribution company Lineup Industries has partnered with NHK Enterprises (the pubcaster’s distribution arm) to drive global sales of the Japanese broadcaster’s formats.
Lineup’s main focus for the NHK content will be on Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, with the first formats to roll out being The Late Night Show with Nitty & Gritty, 72 Hours and Chiko’s Challenge (pictured).
This isn’t the first time the partners have worked together. NHK/NHK Enterprises and Lineup Industries collaborated on the Japanese adaptation of Radio Gaga, a format now in its third season on NHK.
Ed Louwerse and Julian Curtis, co-founders of Lineup Industries, noted in a statement: “Although many Japanese formats can seem puzzling to audiences outside of Asia, they are often only a few small tweaks away from captivating Western viewers. NHK has an extensive library of standout, innovative formats that we believe can be successfully adapted for local markets, while still respecting and retaining the core creative elements that made the original so special.”
Going into its fifth season on NHK, The Late Night Show with Nitty & Gritty focuses on the underground via a candid talk show acted by puppets. From the incomprehensible “work” hours of an online game addict and the secretive life of an ex-Yakuza and to the bizarre rituals of a multiple lottery winner, the series uses puppets as a way to free guests to speak their minds and shine a light onto the weird, the dark and the niche.
Elsewhere, 72 Hours is a documentary format that captures the real stories of ordinary people who come and go at a specific location during a 72-hour period. Chiko’s Challenge, meanwhile, is a co-viewing comedy show which challenges celebrities with child-like questions which are often surprisingly difficult to answer.
Junko Ogawa, executive controller-general, content distribution department of NHK Enterprises added: “We are absolutely excited to be able to team up with Lineup Industries. The adaptation of Radio Gaga has not only been a great hit for NHK but has helped us offer warmth, compassion, and laughter to NHK’s audience, which is an important element for its factual entertainment. We believe Lineup Industries and NHK share similar sensibilities and we hope the partnership will let us connect with more companies that may take interest in our wonderful content.”