October 17, 2005
Reality hit “Amazing Race” going local overseas
By Jeffrey Goldfarb
LONDON (Reuters) - Jerry Bruckheimer's Emmy-winning reality
series "The Amazing Race" will be produced outside the United
States for the first time, joining the growing number of hit
shows that are being adapted for local audiences.
Disney's Buena Vista distribution arm said on Monday that
the traveling adventure competition would be licensed to AXN in
Central Europe and Asia, which will make one version for
audiences in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and other
nearby countries, and another for the Asia-Pacific region.
The number of formatted shows, or ones adapted for local
audiences, on U.S. and European television has surged 35
percent over the past three years as producers increasingly
seek ideas from other countries.
"This is the first pan-Asia format deal for a
reality-competition show and an excellent example of how great
content can transcend geographies and cultures," said Steve
Macallister, a managing director for Buena Vista.
"The Amazing Race," in which pairs of friends and family
members compete in a race around the world, has won three
consecutive Emmy Awards. It has run for seven seasons on the
Viacom-owned CBS network in the United States, and an eighth
season was recently launched.
AXN is the action and adventure channel of Sony Pictures
Television International, a unit of Japanese media and
electronics conglomerate Sony Corp.
Bruckheimer's hits include the films "Beverly Hills Cop"
and "Pirates of the Caribbean" and TV shows "CSI" and "Without
a Trace." He is co-executive producer of "The Amazing Race"
with Bertram van Munster.