Careful, B: There’s a new Gossip Girl on her way to China. The creators of the popular CW drama are teaming with Chinese production companies Mei Tian and H&R Century TV along with Metan Development Group and Warner Bros International Television Production to develop a local teen drama that will focus on the lives of status-conscious students at Shanghai International University. Metan — the folks behind the popular series Hello! Hollywood — and WBITVP are consulting on the development and production, with cameras due to roll in June after a nationwide casting search. Because China’s state authority has to clear all scripts, it’s likely the local series won’t be quite as risqué as the CW version, which has a large online fanbase in China. According to the release below, the students in the new show are “confused and lost, however over time, they discover who they really are and eventually find the right path to pursue their dreams.” The 30-episode series is to debut in November. Here’s the release announcing the deal:
Beijing, March 6, 2012 — In an historic deal that brings together the very best minds in television production from the East and West, China’s Mei Tian Mei Yu (Mei Tian) and H&R Century TV (H&R), in conjunction with Metan Development Group (Metan), Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) and the creative team behind the hit TV series phenomenon “Gossip Girl,” have joined together to develop a modern new teen drama series (30x60min) set in China.
Instrumental in bringing the parties together, Metan, a company founded by international TV veterans Marty Pompadur and Larry Namer, together with WBITVP will provide development and production consultation on the project, which is poised to launch a new era of the modern drama series in China.
“As one of the leading film and drama production companies in China today, we’re excited to be working with such an amazing team of international TV professionals,” said Zhong Junyan, president, H&R. “With its keen understanding of global production, Metan has joined together with Warner Bros. International Television Production, creating an extraordinary consultant team to help Mei Tain and H&R forge a new form of drama series in China.”
“Metan is pleased to be involved with this exciting collaboration, underscoring our ability to once again create positive connections between Hollywood with China,” said Metan’s president/ceo Larry Namer. “We believe that bringing together such a talented team will result in one of the biggest and best drama series ever seen in China, as the country enters this new age of TV production.”
“We are delighted to be working with Mei Tan and H&R to bring this new series to one of the most vibrant and exciting countries on the planet, China,” added Andrew Zein, Senior Vice President, Creative, Format Development and Sales, Warner Bros. International Television Production.
Set to debut to Mandarin-speaking audiences in November 2012, the series about the lives of the students of the prestigious Shanghai International University, the school of choice of the rich and powerful. One’s social status reaches a new level once admitted into the school. Each week, the main characters’ trust, love and friendship are tested, with all the behind-the-scenes tales recorded in a blog. In the beginning, they are confused and lost, however over time, they discover who they really are and eventually find the right path to pursue their dreams.
Production is set to begin in June of this year and a nationwide casting search will begin later this month. Chinese actress Yang Mi, most noted for her breakthrough role in the TV series “Palace” (2011), as well as in “The Return of the Condor Heroes” and “Chinese Paladin 3,”will have a recurring role on the series.