'The Only Way Is Essex' Gets Chinese Makeover

'The Only Way is Essex' won the YouTube Audience Award at the 2011 BAFTAs.

Hunan TV will produce a local-language version of the hit U.K. reality TV series, described as a British answer to 'Jersey Shore.'

What's Chinese for wel jel?

Chinese viewers are getting a taste of Brit lowbrow reality TV with a local version of The Only Way Is Essex, ITV's long-running (and BAFTA-award-winning) scripted reality soap. Now in its 16th six-week season, the series is often described as the British answer to Jersey Shore

The Chinese version, called San Li Tun De Peng You Quan, airs on satellite channel Hunan TV and is produced by Hunan, Mango TV and independent producer Zhang Hong. According to figures from All3media International, which holds format rights to the show, the Chinese TOWIE is a ratings success, ranking 14th among all satellite shows airing in the 10 pm primetime slot in China.

All3media has had success with other local-language adaptations in the middle kingdom, including game show Are You Normal?, which has racked up 430 million views on Chinese VOD platform TenCent. All3Media has commissioned a Vietnamese version of the show, originally produced by Zoo Productions for the OWN Network in the U.S., for Vietnam's VTV9 channel.

All3media is among the host of international content owners descending on Singapore this week for the Asia Television Forum, which runs Dec.2-4.  

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