A month ago we wrote about original Chinese variety show I Am the Actor getting picked up by an American production company for adaptation for English-language audiences. At the end of that article, we wondered whether the show might be the first of many to make its way overseas, after years of Chinese TV networks pulling ideas (with and without permission) from foreign platforms.
Well, we’re still a way from being able to call it a trend, but now another major Chinese TV show has been licensed for adaptation for the US: iQIYI’s street dance battle show Hot-Blood Dance Crew.
According to an official statement, the Baidu-backed network that is often dubbed “the Netflix of China“, has “announced it has granted format rights to US production company U2K led by Michael and David Uslan to remake an English version of its hit street dance competition show “Hot-Blood Dance Crew”. The new agreement represents the first time U2K has developed the format of a Chinese variety show for English-speaking territories.” The statement continues:
Described by U2K as “akin to ‘Lip Sync Battle and ‘The Voice’, but based around dancing instead of singing, with a strong AI component”, “Hot-Blood Dance Crew” has been a massive hit in China, popularizing the phenomenon of street dance among Chinese youth. As the first original Chinese online variety show simultaneously broadcast on both domestic and overseas platforms, “Hot-Blood Dance Crew” was broadcast abroad via Rakuten VIKI in North America, as well as being distributed through multiple Asian channels including Malaysia’s Astro, Starhub TV in Singapore and myTV SUPER in Hong Kong.
The show was one of two major street dance programs to hit Chinese screens this year — the other being Street Dance of China — and filled an apparent gap in iQIYI’s portfolio when it appeared their cornerstone talent show The Rap of China was in jeopardy in the wake of the government’s apparent “hip hop ban”.
After the “Hip-Hop Ban”, Chinese TV Turns to Street Dancing Shows
“U2K’s decision to remake Hot-Blood Dance Crew for English speaking audiences is truly testament to the cross-cultural appeal of iQIYI’s original variety show content,” Chen Xiao, Vice President at iQIYI was quoted as saying in response to the news. No release date has yet been confirmed for the English-language version.
Check out this kung fu-influenced dance to a mash-up of Kanye, Kendrick, and Lil Jon for a taste of what to expect:
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