EXCLUSIVE: Whoopi Goldberg is set to adapt the Romanian game show Win Your Country! in the U.S. after optioning the format from Small World IFT.
Goldberg’s One Hoe Productions has teamed with Red Arrow-backed Wahlburgers producer 44 Blue Productions to develop a U.S. remake of the show with Ellen’s Game of Games co-exec producer Noah Bonnett lined up as showrunner.
The series is a studio-based game show where contestants win big if they can prove they really know their country. Originally produced by Romania’s Zucchero Media for TVR2, the show sees players compete over three rounds, battling it out state by state, region by region, or city by city. Each contestant starts with a chosen territory and must “conquer” neighboring regions by answering a series of questions about that specific territory. Only then will they be able to make it to the next level where a cat-and-mouse game ensues and the remaining opponents try to reach each other’s territory first, leaving just one to battle for the prize money in the final round.
The show has run for 200 episodes in Romania and is sold as a format by Tim Crescenti’s Kew Media-backed Small World IFT, which was responsible for NBC adapting Grandpas Over Flowers as Better Late Than Never as well as ABC’s I Survived A Japanese Gameshow. The format is also currently in development for a Canadian broadcaster and optioned in France.
The U.S. adaptation is now in development and will be executive produced by Goldberg and Tom Leonardis (I’m Coming Home) for One Hoe, in partnership with Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch and Dan Snook for 44 Blue.
“We love the civic nature of this show and the positive focus on unity and identity. It gives the players and the audience a chance to take pride in the place they call home and have a great time doing it, along with a little healthy competition,” Goldberg said. “We think U.S. audiences will love Win Your Country!, and Small World, 44 Blue and Noah Bonnett are the perfect partners to bring it to life here.”
Said 44 Blue’s Noonan Drachkovitch: “We have produced two critically acclaimed series with Whoopi and Tom and are always looking for exciting new content to create together. When we saw Small World’s Win Your Country!, we knew it would be a perfect fit for Whoopi’s brand of topical humor and family fun. The format couldn’t be more relevant, and we look forward to bringing it to the U.S.”
Crescenti added: “The format guarantees plenty of humor, fast-paced quiz/trivia action and viewer interaction. One Hoe and 44 Blue were quick to recognize its strong potential for the U.S. market. And to partner with a rare EGOT winner like Whoopi Goldberg, we couldn’t be more thrilled and honored.”
44 Blue and One Hoe are represented by WME, while Small World IFT is repped by UTA.