Hit Japanese series headed to U.S.

Vin Di Bona nabs rights to 'Masquerade'

Continuing the recent television industry embrace of Japanese-inspired competition shows, Vin Di Bona Prods. has picked up the rights to Nippon TV's "Masquerade."

Billed as Japan's longest-running hit series, "Masquerade" debuted in 1979. Contestants utilize costumes, props, sets and their bodies to create live visual performances that trick the eye. Several of the clips have clocked millions of hits on YouTube. (See video below)



Di Bona ("America's Funniest Home Videos") will shop the concept to networks in an effort to produce a U.S. version.

"This show strikes me as being the most original concept in television that I've seen since 'Home Videos,' " Di Bona said. "It's already become a cultural phenomenon in Japan and I see that potential here."

Japanese-inspired unscripted shows have become the latest reality trend, with ABC debuting "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" and "Wipeout" this month and Fox readying "Hole in the Wall" for later this year.
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