As part of the studio's efforts to expand its local productions, Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) has inked an agreement TV Asahi Corporation, one of Japan's largest commercial broadcasters, to collaborate in developing TV formats that will be distributed around the world.
WBITVP will handle distribution of these formats in the U.S., Europe and Latin America whilst TV Asahi will handle distribution in Asia. The intention is to take the first of these projects to MipTV and Mipcom later in the year.
WBITVP already distributes such TV Asahi formats as Ranking The Stars, which has been sold to The Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Korea, India and Lithuania.
The Japanese market has had a long history of successfully developing formats, and the partners are planning to take at least one project each year from TV Asahi's current slate of entertainment shows or from its archives and re-produce it as an English language pilot or presentation.
"Japanese TV shows are full of great ideas, original concepts and the Japanese have a unique approach to entertainment; many of the programs have the potential to work internationally," noted Andrew Zein, senior VP, creative, format development and sales at WBITVP, in a statement. "We intend to bring these TV Asahi formats to market and try and secure commissions around the world, including in the U.S."