'Impractical Jokers' to Get U.K. Version on Viacom's Channel 5, Comedy Central

The U.S. version of the hidden-camera series has been the British Comedy Central's top show.

Viacom-owned British broadcaster Channel 5 and Comedy Central U.K. have ordered a local version of U.S. hit hidden-camera prank show Impractical Jokers.

It marks the first joint project between the two channels following Viacom’s takeover of Channel 5 last year.

The two channels will co-fund a nine-episode season of the 30-minute series. Episodes will premiere on Channel 5 and then air on Comedy Central U.K.

The U.S. version of Impractical Jokers, which airs on truTV, has been Comedy Central U.K.'s top show, with the highest-rated episode to-date attracting an audience of 267,000.

Said Ben Frow, Channel 5’s director of programs: “Impractical Jokers has been a huge hit for Comedy Central, and it feels like the perfect project for Channel 5’s first foray back into funny with Comedy Central at our side.”

Jill Offman, managing director, Comedy Central U.K., added: “Our U.K. Impractical Jokers have the same brilliant chemistry that has made their U.S. counterparts such a success, and I can’t wait to see what pranks they pull on the unsuspecting British public.”

The British version is being produced by Yalli Productions, a Warner Bros. Television Production U.K. unit "following a successful pilot commission by Comedy Central earlier this year," the networks said.

The U.K. version will follow the format of the U.S. show and feature four British comedian friends. They are Lee Griffiths, Matt Ralph, Paul Biggin and David Moon. They previously worked together in sketch group Late Night Gimp Fight.

In the show, they will challenge each other to "some of the most outrageous dares and uproarious stunts ever to be caught on hidden camera," the network partners said. "During each prank, the joker must do whatever his three friends tell him via a secret earpiece, and if he refuses, he loses."

Channel 5 and Comedy Central U.K. said they plan to co-fund further shared comedies, including a sketch show and a sitcom.

Viacom International Media Networks owns Channel 5 and majority owns and operates Comedy Central U.K. as a joint venture with Sky.

Twitter: @georgszalai

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