Japan's NHK Buys Remake Rights to BBC Drama 'Mistresses'

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U.S. 'Mistresses' Remake

A local version of the show is set to air beginning in April in the public broadcaster's prime drama slot.

Japan's public broadcaster NHK has bought the remake rights to Mistresses from its British counterpart the BBC. It is the first acquisition of a British scripted format by NHK and the first sale of any format by BBC Studios to the Japanese broadcaster.

The deal was unveiled Monday at the annual BBC Studios Showcase in Liverpool, the biggest international content market hosted by a single distributor, which is running through Wednesday.

"We are excited to reproduce the successful British drama Mistresses as a locally relevant version to bring to Japanese audiences," said Takahisa Goto of NHK Enterprises.

Said Geo Lee, general manager of North East Asia for BBC Studios: "The growing popularity of British drama in the region has sparked a trend for scripted formats and BBC Studios' scripted catalogue is meeting their demands for high-quality, relatable dramas."

The 10-part series, titled Mistresses – Those Women's Secrets, will begin airing in April on NHK's main channel General TV in its main drama slot. Adapted by screenwriter Noriko Yoshida and Rie Yokota, the drama follows the complex personal lives of a group of 30-something girlfriends. It will star Kyoko Hasegawa as Kaori Shibazaki (Katie), Miki Mizuno as Tomomi Noguchi (Trudi), Hyonri as Saeko Harada (Siobhan) and Aya Omasa as Juri Mizushima (Jessica).

The original six-part series, produced by Ecosse Films for the BBC, aired in early 2008 on BBC One.

Mistresses has already been sold to the U.S., Russia, Slovakia and South Korea.