Docs

NHK slates “Mating Game” wildlife doc, acquires “Emergency Call” format

Japanese public broadcaster NHK’s 8K channel will broadcast a new documentary on animal mating behavior, The Mating Game. The 5 x 60-minute series (pictured), which premieres on January 16, was produced ...
December 8, 2021

Japanese public broadcaster NHK’s 8K channel will broadcast a new documentary on animal mating behavior, The Mating Game.

The 5 x 60-minute series (pictured), which premieres on January 16, was produced by NHK and UK-based Silverback Films for BBC and Discovery, and co-produced with Bilibili and France Télévisions.

The five themed episodes explore how creatures find a partner. From humpback whales in Hawaii to chimpanzees in Uganda, the series features little-seen footage of animals revealing their mating behavior as they encounter potential partners and fight off rivals.

“Making this series during the pandemic over the past year and a half was far from easy,” said NHK executive producer Iwasaki Hiromichi in a news release. “NHK was involved with filming that took place in 22 countries on six continents. We took all kinds of steps to ensure that we were in the right place at the right time to film mating behavior in 8K. As a result, we got stunning footage of the courtship behavior of a wide range of species including lesser flamingos, ruffs, caimans and humming birds.”

The Japanese pubcaster has also acquired the documentary format Emergency Call in a deal with international indie distributor Lineup Industries.

NHK will be the latest international channel to produce and air a local version of the show, which focuses on an emergency call center through the people who work there.

Emergency Call will also debut on NHK in January, and is based on a format created by De chinezen for Belgian broadcaster VRT Eén. Lineup Industries handles global distribution for the series, which has been made locally in Belgium (both Flemish and French), Australia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, as well as being actively optioned for other markets.

“We are very honored to have this opportunity to be producing the Japanese version of Emergency Call,” said Takako Ishikawa, senior producer at current affairs division, program production department at NHK in a release. “This format is significant in that it successfully illustrates the daily occurrences at the control room of an emergency unit from a perspective that resonates to audiences the world over, and we appreciate that Emergency Call is a program showing a very high level of human nature.”

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