ITV to launch Granada TV in Asia

Using Malaysia as set for local edition of 'I'm a Celebrity'

HONG KONG -- U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV Global Entertainment has upped its Asia game, announcing plans for the launch Saturday of a 24-hour general entertainment, pay TV channel as well as the first Asia location for reality show "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here."

The new channel, Granada TV, will operate out of ITV's regional office in Hong Kong, U.K.-based global entertainment president and managing director Peter Iacono said Wednesday at the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia convention.

The new location for "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here" is in a former resort in Malaysia. No details on the first productions in Malaysia have been finalized, Iacono said.

Six versions of the reality program have been made around the world, including one in Australia. Iacono said that the locations in Malaysia and Argentina have made more cost-effective versions of the show possible.

The new 24-hour Granada TV channel will air such contemporary ITV shows as detective drama "Prime Suspect," talk show "The Jeremy Kyle Show" and entertainment shows "Friday Night Project" and "Vroom Vroom."

Many of the programs have never been seen before in Asia, ITV regional director for Asia James Ross said.

Granada TV will be distributed in India and South Asia by Indian producers, programrs and channel distributors NDTV. The India agreement is subject to license approval from Indian authorities.

No distribution deals have yet been announced.

Iacono said that Granada TV will carry short-form local content within a year. Long-term plans include local unscripted chat shows and, eventually, local scripted programming.

Content, including a local version of Gordon Ramsay vehicle "Hell's Kitchen," will be made with local partners.