“Lego Masters” is heading to China following a major deal from distributor Banijay Rights.
Chinese production firm Long Qing Media has been commissioned to create a first run of the show for Shenzhen TV, for which production is already underway. The deal was brokered on the China side by Huo Yuan Media (The Content Connected).
The show features pairs who compete against each other to wow judges with the most eye-catching and spectacular constructions built out of Lego blocks. The format has already been adapted for 15 international broadcasters across Europe, the U.S., Australia and Asia. In addition to the new China commission, there have been recent orders from New Zealand’s TVNZ 2, Spain’s Atresmedia and Norway’s TV2.
This year, “Lego Masters” has found particular success in the U.S., where it is currently on air with Fox and proving popular. It has risen to become the top show among teens and younger viewers from ages 18 to 34 and the firm’s second most streamed entertainment series. The format has also built a large following in Australia, where its third season finale in April led ratings, broadcasting as the number one show of the day in all key demographics. In Denmark in April, its strong debut drew a 50.6% share for 15 to 34-year-olds across the seasons.
The show was originally created by the Lego Group and British production company Tuesday’s Child Television. Banijay is the global distributor for the format and the show’s finished tape.
Banijay’s senior VP of acquisitions Simon Cox called the deal to bring the hit to the China market “a milestone moment” as the competition show “continues to build global momentum.”
“We know this program will resonate strongly with a Chinese audience and we’re incredibly excited to work with our partners Shenzhen TV, Long Qing Media, Huo Yuan Media and the Lego Group to make this happen,” he said in a statement.
The Lego Group’s head of global entertainment Jim Wilfert said: “We are thrilled to be bringing ‘Lego Masters’ to China, along with our partners at Banijay Rights. We hope that families and fans in China will be inspired by the unlimited creativity and endless possibilities of the Lego brick.”
On the China side, partners were equally enthusiastic.
Long Qing Media’s executive producer and vice president Tony Zhang said his firm was also “thrilled” with the opportunity. “The Lego brand has a huge fan base in the Chinese market and all our teams are big Lego fans. We want to bring this creativity, enthusiasm, and positive spirit…together to audiences,” he said.
Willian Tan, senior advisor to Huo Yuan Media, explained: “Our goal is to further bridge content between the Chinese and global markets. We found ‘Lego Masters’ [to be] a global hit with all the right touch points to succeed in China. Connecting the right content with the right partner in China is what we do best.”
Banijay Rights represents a multi-genre portfolio of over 100,000 hours of programming. Its catalogue encompasses titles from more than 120 in-house labels and other third-party producers, spanning drama, comedy, entertainment, factual, reality, family, formats and theatrical. Its landmark brands include “Survivor,” “Big Brother,” “MasterChef,” “Temptation Island,” “Biggest Loser,” “Black Mirror” and “Mr. Bean,” which is beloved in China.