Dear Daddies Ripe for Remakes Around the World

Dear Daddies, a dramedy following four dads who develop a friendship after meeting at their children’s kindergarten, has traveled around the globe—from Latin America to North Africa to Europe—and ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) Distribution hopes to take it even farther. Since its original debut in Argentina on Telefe in 2014 as Sres. Papis, the format has seen nine local adaptations, with another two licensed for the future. As soon as the original version was a hit in Argentina, VIS Distribution believed it had the potential to travel around the world.

The first adaptation arrived in 2016 on Mega in Chile to huge success. It was the most-watched show in Chile in 2016, confirming what VIS had already suspected: “This was a great story, with universal themes and recognizable characters that modern audiences would be able to relate to,” says Laura Burrell, VP of international formats at VIS Distribution.

More adaptations in Latin America followed—first in Mexico and then in Peru—but the real breakthrough came in 2018. For the first time, the format traveled outside of Latin America, all the way to the other side of the world. Local versions launched in Slovakia on Televízia Markíza and in the Middle East and North Africa on DCM. The Slovakian version in particular has seen enormous success—so much so that more than 400 episodes have been produced across four seasons.

The Slovakian success propelled the format across Central and Eastern Europe, with Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria and, most recently, Poland, launching their own adaptations.

Part of Dear Daddies’ worldwide appeal is how easy it is to mold in order to fit local audiences. While the original Argentinian series was more of a drama and centered on four fathers, the first local adaptation in Chile leaned into comedy and focused on three fathers. “The Chilean evolution was fantastic because it enabled us to offer potential buyers the flexibility of following either version, depending on their needs,” Burrell says.

The Slovakian version is an example of this flexibility: It is more comedy-driven, like the Chilean adaptation but centered on four fathers, like the Argentinean one. From there, most of the other Eastern European licensees based their versions on the Slovakian template.

Aside from the easily adaptable nature of the concept, it has become ripe for remakes because “it’s universal, modern and relevant,” Burrell notes. “Tackling fatherhood from an innovative and sensitive angle, the scripts allow the male characters to shine in a way that appeals to all demographics. This is a family-friendly show that will appeal to a broad audience, which is very much what broadcasters are currently looking for.”

It also helps that the scripts are easy to adapt into short- or long-running series. According to Burrell, in many cases, the local adaptations have even exceeded the original number of scripts.

More Eastern European versions of Dear Daddies are set to debut in Ukraine and Croatia in 2022, and VIS is planning to extend the format onto more continents, with an eye on Asia in particular. Burrell says, “The demand for scripted remakes is clearly growing, particularly in Southeast Asia and India, and we believe, with strong local partnerships in place, Dear Daddiescan be successfully adapted to serve those audiences.”

After all, it already has an “established template for success. With a great international track record, new clients have the assurance that they are buying into a big hit,” she says. “On the ratings side, results have been great, with many local adaptations leading their slots.” In addition, “buyers can count on our support and guidance at all stages of the process, creating a clear path to success.”