NBC's 'The Wall' Game Show Headed to Canada

Evans Vestal Ward/NBC
'The Wall'

The LeBron James-produced show will be Canadianized as networks bank on family-friendly competition series as event TV.

Canadian network Quebecor will produce a local version of NBC's The Wall, Endemol Shine Group said Monday.

The game show from Glassman Media, SpringHill Entertainment and Universal Television Alternative Studio will be adapted for TVA as part of a licensing deal, a move that comes after the U.S. format landed on TF1 in France and yet more adaptations are in the works for Spain and Germany.

The Canadianized version will be produced by Quebecor Content and has TVA aiming to build on a local fan base for the original NBC quiz show, hosted by Chris Hardwick, that airs on Global Television north of the border. The Wall, created by LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Andrew Glassman, has teammates answering questions and hoping for the right bounces on a giant interactive wall for a cash prize.

The first season of The Wall on NBC delivered an average audience of 6.77 million viewers and a 6.3% market share south of the border, with each episode ranked as the top-rated non-scripted show of the night, according to Endemol Shine Group.

Global Television, which has the reality champ Big Brother and its Canadian spinoff Big Brother Canada on its schedule, also aired Better Late Than Never, the second show after The Wall to come from Meredith Ahr and Paul Telegdy's Universal Television Alternative Studio.

As with earlier Canadianized versions of proven global formats such as Canadian Idol, Deal or No Deal Canada and So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Quebecor is banking on Canadians wanting to see themselves in local formats of popular U.S. reality competition series airing north of the border.

"With local German and Spanish versions currently in production, this new deal with Quebecor Content underscores the huge potential for the international market. The Wall truly has pan-global appeal," Lisa Perrin, CEO of Creative Networks at Endemol Shine Group, said Monday in a statement.

For Canadian broadcasters, licensed local formats are expensive to produce as they need to match the high production values of American versions. At the same time, Quebecor and other local broadcasters are continuing a push to event TV. 

Rival CTV, which has Amazing Race Canada as a summer-season stalwart, is also co-producing a singing competition series, The Launch, with Scott Borchetta that already has Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder on board as mentors.

And CTV is expected to nab the American Idol reboot after airing the original Fox competition series and recently renewing its output deal with Disney/ABC at LA Screenings.

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