This is a two-way partnership under which Keshet International has optioned Chinese romcom Dating Hunter for the U.S. market from production company Huace Group/Croton Media. The latter will in turn develop local versions of KI comedies Traffic Light and Loaded for the Middle Kingdom.
The deal for Dating Hunter marks the first time a Chinese format will be re-versioned for the U.S. and comes as the Middle Kingdom is keen to access export markets for its content. The series, which was simultaneously broadcast on four satellite channels in China, centers on a sharp publicist whose former advertising agency goes bankrupt. Together with a group of “emotional planners,” they open a successful dating agency. The original increased slot averages by more than 30% in China where audiences have a particular penchant for the genre. It also aired on five major Chinese video sites racking up more than 1B views.
Huace/Croton VP Liu Zhi called the deals a “win-win for content” and “an innovative move in distributing Chinese TV drama to the international market.”
Traffic Light won the 2010 International Emmy for Best Comedy Series and the 2010 Israeli Academy Award for Best Comedy. It focuses on three guys in their thirties, their enduring friendship and the very different cards that life deals them. Four seasons of the original have aired in Israel and seasons three and four were the highest rated scripted series in Israel to date.
Loaded is the winner of four Israeli Academy Awards including Best Comedy, Best Director and Best Screenplay. The series also focuses on a group of best friends — geeks who own hugely successful gaming company Gymalaya. With $127M in the bank and thinking they have it made, they’re the hottest, coolest and most successful guys in town — until a new kid arrives on the block.
Traffic Light and Loaded are currently in pre-production in China with broadcasters to be attached at a later date. The plan is to see Traffic Light produced in 2016-2017 and broadcast in 2018.