Medical Reality Show 'Dr What: Diagnosis Unknown' to Be Adapted in China

Small World IFT
"Dr What"

Created by London and LA-based format producer Small World IFT, the show's Chinese version will be co-produced by Japan's NHK and China's Legend Media, marking a rare collaboration between the two Asian countries.

London and LA-based TV formats house Small World IFT has announced a landmark co-production deal for its medical game show Dr What: Diagnosis Unknown, teaming up with NHK Enterprises of Japan and Legend Media of China to create a localized adaptation of the hit show for Zhejiang TV. The deal marks the first Japanese co-production for the Chinese broadcaster.

The format of Dr What: Diagnosis Unknown sees real-life junior doctors analyze, deduce and diagnose actual cases, complete with video re-enactments, of puzzling medical conditions. The unscripted show is hosted by the titular Dr What, and the correct diagnosis is revealed at the end of the show. Known as Dr G’s Case Files in Japan and into its fifth season, the show has scored strong ratings on NHK.

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The Chinese production is set to be called Health 007 and will air in the 10 p.m. slot for Zhejiang TV. It is set to premiere on July 16.

Instrumental to the deal being brokered was Tim Crescenti, president at Small World IFT; Aegena Tay, director of program development at Singapore-based Bomanbridge Media; and Patrick Peng, R&D director at Legend Media.

Crescenti said: “We are absolutely delighted to follow the success of Dr What: Diagnosis Unknown in Japan with this major new co-development for audiences in China. The show sees some of the country’s brightest young brains challenged to showcase their knowledge, offering viewers fascinating real-life stories blended with a highly entertaining competitive element and, of course, some valuable medical information along the way.”

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Tay added: “We are pleased to be part of an exciting collaboration. China has found a great project that positively encourages the audience to live better by knowing more about our health.”

Commenting on Zhejiang TV's first Japanese-Chinese co-production, Hiroya Okado, senior producer of the content development center at NHK, said, “Dr What: Diagnosis Unknown is one of very few unique formats in the marketplace. It is a great pleasure that we will now be able to see the Chinese co-development Health 007 come to life. Through the re-enactment of the cases we hope the Chinese viewers will enjoy the deduction of a diagnosis as our viewers in Japan do.”

Small World IFT currently has the international distribution rights to Dr What: Diagnosis Unknown and is looking to push the format into other territories in the future.