Format news: Banijay sends “Lego Masters” to China; “You Can’t Ask That” bound for Asia

Banijay sends Lego Masters to China Global content distributor Banijay Rights has announced a new adaptation of the hit reality competition format Lego Masters for China. Shenzhen TV has commissioned Chinese prodco ...
July 27, 2021

Banijay sends Lego Masters to China

Global content distributor Banijay Rights has announced a new adaptation of the hit reality competition format Lego Masters for China.

Shenzhen TV has commissioned Chinese prodco Long Qing Media to produce the series, with production currently underway. The deal was brokered by Huo Yuan Media (The Content Connected).

Lego Masters has proven to be a global hit, adapted for 15 international broadcasters across Europe, the U.S., Australia and Asia. Recent orders for the hot format came from New Zealand’s TVNZ, Spain’s Atresmedia and Norway’s TV 2.

The competition series pairs contestants against each other to impress judges with incredible designs and builds. Originally created by Tuesday’s Child Television and the Lego Group, Banijay distributes the Lego Masters format globally and also handles finished tape for the show.

“Taking proven hit Lego Masters to a market like China marks a milestone moment for this incredibly warm, creative and joyful competition show that continues to build global momentum. We know this program will resonate strongly with a Chinese audience and we’re incredibly excited to work with our partners Shenzhen TV, Long Qing Media, Huo Yuan Media and the Lego Group to make this happen,” said Simon Cox, SVP acquisitions for Banijay Rights, in a release.

You Can’t Ask That headed for Asia

Tiger Tiger Pictures is teaming up with inclusion-focused social enterprise Be Inclusive to bring a new version of the popular Australian unscripted format You Can’t Ask That (pictured) to the Asian market.

The long-running show, which puts a spotlight on diversity and inclusion, gives viewers a look into the lives of people commonly marginalized by society. The series confronts prejudices and tackles social taboos that people are often uncomfortable discussing openly. Each episode focuses on a misunderstood group — such people with a disability or domestic abuse survivors — and presents them with anonymous, crowdsourced questions from the public.

Tiger Tiger Pictures’ and Be Inclusive’s option with ABC Commercial is to license and produce You Can’t Ask That Asia in nine Asian markets: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

Currently in search of streaming and production financing partners in the region, Tiger Tiger Pictures and Be Inclusive plan to roll out production in each Asian market with the individual episode topics tailored to reflect the inclusion issues of each country, with an opportunity for future multi-market compilation episodes for themes that resonate across the region, like issues around LGBTQ, disabilities, religion and race. A three-part pilot exploring the subjects of “transmen,” “people of short stature” and the “elderly (over 85 years old)” is currently in production, filming across Thailand.

“Asia is an incredibly diverse place with over two billion people living within our nine optioned markets alone, yet channels for meaningful and candid conversations that tackle stereotypes are sorely lacking,” said executive producer and Be Inclusive founder and CEO Laurindo Garcia, who brokered the deal with Katherine McMillan, ABC Commercial’s sales manager, formats, in a release.

The seventh season of the original You Can’t Ask That was just announced in its native Australia, with hit versions already produced in Canada, France, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Spain. U.S. rights were acquired in 2020.

You Can’t Ask That Asia is developed by Tiger Tiger Pictures and Be Inclusive. The pilot is directed and produced by Jutuporn Athasopa and executive produced by Garcia and Glen Goei. You Can’t Ask That is an original concept owned and created by Australian Broadcasting Corporation and distributed by ABC Commercial.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.