From powerful scripted formats such as Mother to game-show hits like Block Out—co-developed with Red Arrow Studios—leading Japanese media group Nippon TV has been ramping up its presence in the formats business over the last few years. Shigeko Cindy Chino, associate managing director for international business development at Nippon TV, shares with TV Formats Weekly what’s driving the company’s remakes business in the AsiaPac region and across the globe.
TV FORMATS: What are some of the recent format deals you’ve done in Asia?
CHINO: We are very proud of our Chinese partner Hunan TV’s Golden Eagle Cartoon TV channel, which has meticulously carried out our Pharaoh! format (English title of the Chinese remake is Crazy Maiji) throughout these years ever since 2014. It is a fun-packed physical entertainment game show taking place in different trap hidden rooms of an ancient Chinese civilization motif. Having aired season eight [last] year, we are now discussing the seasons to follow. Witnessing a tenth season anniversary in the near future may be a dream come true.
Also, Block Out, a co-development format with Red Arrow Studios, and Silent Library are successful formats that have travel records from East to West and then the other way around again. Block Out previously aired in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia and has been picked up in Spain and Holland and attracted more buyers in the East and West. Likewise, Silent Library, blooming from the U.S. (MTV) and having aired in Thailand (Line TV), Mongolia (Mongol TV) and Vietnam (VTV), is seeded again in the West.
TV FORMATS: What types of formats are doing particularly well in the AsiaPac region?
CHINO: Our slate of reality formats, including our legendary Old Enough!, resonates well with Asian viewers. Versions have previously aired in Vietnam, China and Singapore. We will be seeing more once the Covid-19 situation relaxes. Also, on the scripted front, we see demand in the crime and mystery area with a guessing game element where viewers can join in guessing the culprit. Guilty Flag, from the creators of the hit series Your Turn to Kill, is an example of the perfect choice for both finished tape and local adaptation.
TV FORMATS: What territories have been the best for you in the last year?
CHINO: In global terms, Holland has borne the most fruit for us. The adaptations of Mute it! (SBS6), Sokkuri Sweets (NPO) and Block Out (NPO) all rolled out successfully, attracting more and more attention from both East and West.
TV FORMATS: Which markets are opening up? Where would you like to be doing more?
CHINO: France is opening up opportunities for us. Being the honorable 40th global adaptation territory for our Emmy Award-winning business format Dragons’ Den (M6), our scripted format Mother has also been localized there and is now available on the streaming platform Salto. We are currently in active talks with our French clients on more of our non-scripted and scripted formats.