New Social Experiment Format Unveiled Internationally


The Swap Project, a new comedic social experiment format, has been launched globally following its February debut in Japan.

The East-meets-West title sees two people from different sides of the world with the same occupation swap lives for a week. Not only do the participants exchange jobs and professional responsibilities, but they must also carry out each other’s domestic chores and family duties.

TGC Global Entertainment (TGC GE) and Fuji Television Network will share the distribution of The Swap Project, with Fuji Creative Corp., the distribution arm of Fuji Television Network, handling Asia, while TGC GE will represent the format in the rest of the world.

Phil Gurin, founder of TGC GE, said: “On one level, The Swap Project is a sweet, funny format that follows the experiences of two people doing the same job in two different worlds. But it’s also a front-line exploration of difference and otherness and how these can be overcome if we focus on the things that unite rather than divide us. Most of all, however, The Swap Project is wonderful entertainment. Who doesn’t want to see how a Michelin-starred Japanese sushi chef copes with life in a chaotic family-run Mexican restaurant in Downtown LA—or how his Hispanic counterpart deals with living in a chef’s dormitory in Tokyo? Spoiler alert: hilariously!”

Takeru Kato, the Swap Project director at Fuji Television Network, said: “My background of living in both Japan and the U.S. was the initial motivation for coming up with The Swap Project. Whenever I come back home from a long stay in the U.S., my wipers will go off instead of the blinkers when making a turn, or I get irritated by the people who block the right lane on the escalator when I return to the U.S. We are all aware of our big differences: Most of us speak a different language or look different and have different faiths. I believe it’s the small differences, like the wipers and escalators, where we discover something new or that makes us laugh and, most importantly, helps us realize that we have a lot in common. This episode is a swap between chefs from Japan and the U.S., but by changing the countries, changing the jobs, changing the cast…the possibilities for this show are infinite.”