NBC to Remake South Korean Variety Show 'Grandpas Over Flowers'

Grandpas Over Flowers - H 2014
Courtesy of CJ E&M

This will be the first U.S. adaptation of a Korean variety show

NBC has bought the remake rights for hit South Korean variety show Grandpas Over Flowers, Korean entertainment giant CJ E&M announced Wednesday.

The American version, dubbed Better Late Than Ever, will feature four veteran actors on a backpacking trip across Asia with a young porter. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have collaborated on The Bucket List, Sound of Music and NBC's upcoming Peter Pan, will produce the show.

Grandpas Over Flowers debuted in July 2013 on cable channel tvN, garnering rave reviews and popularity across Korea and other Asian countries. It has since aired two seasons as well as a spin-off program starring renowned actresses, Sisters Over Flowers. Another series, Friends Over Flowers, launched last month.

While U.S. buyers have often expressed interest in Korean TV dramas, this marks the first time a North American national broadcast network is adapting a local variety program. Small World IFT will handle international distribution for Grandpas Over Flowers except for Asian territories, where CJ E&M is co-producing localized versions of popular shows with Chinese and Southeast Asian partners.

CJ E&M is also negotiating sales for another variety show, Crazy Market, and the hit TV drama Reply 1997, with an American buyer.

"It is an exciting time for CJ E&M as our original show formats are receiving recognition in the global market, going beyond Asia," said Lee Deok-Jae, senior marketing executive at CJ E&M. "We are not simply exporting ideas but selling full packages of show formats, but are also leading the development and expansion of Korea TV content while enhancing our brand power in the global media industry."