China steams ahead with local formats of The Amazing Race, The School
Rebecca Hawkes
| 20 October 2014
Western formats are continuing to debut on Chinese TV, with a local version of the long running US reality TV show The Amazing Race new to Shenzhen TV and a MIPCOM deal to bring the UK hit series Educating Yorkshire to Hunan TV in 2015.

The latest incarnation of The Amazing Race features Hong Kong actor and singer Jordan Chan, fellow Hong Kong actor and Cantopop star Ekin Cheng and Chinese-born British actor Zhang Tielin. Eight groups of celebrities crossed three continents and five oceans for the Chinese version of the tourist format, which has now entered its 25th season in the US on CBS.

Meanwhile, Shine International has announced a deal with Hunan TV, in association with Twofour, to develop a Chinese adaptation of The School, which is set to air in 2105.

Created and produced by Twofour, the UK versions of The School called Educating Essex, Educating Yorkshire and Educating the East End have delivered a peak audience of 4.8 million viewers. Educating Yorkshire was Channel 4's highest-rated series of 2013.

"We have very high expectations for The School as the original UK series has achieved such a success," said Beryl Yan, head of program strategy and international business at Hunan TV.

"The format itself is a breakthrough in telling real-life stories and sheds light on how the future of our nation is being educated. A group of in-house production teams are currently working on different ideas of localisation and we expect to launch the Chinese version next year," she added.

Other international formats from Shine airing in China currently include Celebrity MasterChef (on Jiangsu TV with 3C Media) and Big Town Dance (on Yunnan TV).