Metan Development Group, the LA company guided by E! Entainment co-founder Larry Namer (pictured), is getting ready to take another risk in the Chinese marketplace. Per an article in Ad Age by Normandy Madden, the plan is to introduce a Shanghai-set version of CW’s The Gossip Girl in the summer of 2012.
There are a couple of potential problems here. One, not all U.S. show remakes are hits; for every Ugly Betty to Ugly Wudi success, there is a High School Musical becomes Musical Youth failure. Also, the original CW program is already a big illegal download hit in China, which suggests the country’s youth may not have much need for a Mandarin language retread:
“There are different cultural values,” said Mark Heap, China CEO for ad agency PHD. A local version of Gossip Girl would need to be toned down to get past local censors, “so it would probably lose its edge a bit.”
The Ad Age piece includes a parallel “Thoughtful China” episode for which Namer was interviewed. Well worth watching if you’re interested in this topic.
Previously on FishbowlLA:
E! Co-Founder Now Helping China Say Hello! Hollywood