Endemol Shine’s real-life thriller format, Hunted, is getting a Chinese version. Endemol Shine China, in partnership with Shenzhen Satellite Television, will produce the adaptation. The format has gained traction since being introduced at Mipcom last year with local versions picked up by CBS in the U.S., as well as by broadcasters in Spain, the Netherlands, and Denmark. It sees groups of ordinary people go on the run, with little cash and limited ability to contact their network of friends and family, and be pursued by a team of highly-skilled, professional investigators, including detectives, psychologists, and surveillance experts. After 28 days, fugitives who reach the final objective without capture win the show. The original version was created by Endemol Shine UK and premiered on Channel 4 last September to 1.73M viewers and success across social media.
South Africa-based Rapid Blue also has outposts in Nigera and Angola, and produces original programs and formats for South African, African and international audiences. BBC Worldwide, which opened an office in Johannesberg in 2015, has invested in the company in a sign of its further commitment to expanding into high-end content for the local market, as well as bringing African content to the world. Created in 1993, Rapid Blue is the leading formats producer in Africa and boasts an International Emmy for documentary Lion’s Trail. Its local productions include The X Factor, South Africa’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance and Pawn Stars. BBCWW has previously worked with Rapid Blue on multiple series of Strictly Come Dancing, The Weakest Link and Come Dine With Me South Africa; and in 2015, Rapid Blue produced the first season of the The Great South African Bake Off. Rapid Blue will continue to produce programming for BBC Worldwide, alongside existing and new distribution and production partners.
After recent deals with France’s TF1 and Turner Latin America, Legendary Television has sold Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal drama Colony to the UK’s Sky1. The series premiered Stateside on USA in January and last month was given a Season 2 order. Set in the very near future, it centers on one family’s struggle to survive and bring liberty back to the people of an occupied Los Angeles. Lost‘s Josh Holloway stars with Sarah Wayne Callies. Colony is a co-production between Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions. It begins airing on Sky1 on April 7.
Viacom18 has entered India’s growing VOD business with VOOT, an advertising-led digital platform that will showcase scripted originals, reality shows and kids programming from across its library. Viacom18 is a joint venture of Viacom Inc and Network 18 Group. Its channels include Colors, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV. VOOT Originals will roll out shows in both long and short formats across comedy and drama. Bollywood actors Gulshan Grover, Baba Sehgal, Alok Nath and a host of celebrity scriptwriters and directors will be fronting the shows. There are six originals planned throughout the launch phase along with India’s first mockumentary, Badman. On the cusp of a boom, India has over 400M internet users and 200M+ smart phone users spending significant time online, with entertainment the prime driver.