The image around the globe of Japanese TV is often one of wild and wacky programming in which contestants perform bizarre and sometimes stomach-churning tasks in front of shrieking hosts. And yet, unbeknown to many, some of the world’s most successful game show franchises are based on Japanese formats.
Executives in Japan’s television industry believe many more undiscovered gems in their vaults are ripe for global audiences. It has been many years since a Japanese drama made an impact overseas, and comedy often struggles to cross language and cultural barriers, but game shows can be localized relatively easily.
The format shows no signs of fatigue in Japan, where variety programming dominates ratings in the 7 to 10 p.m. slot known as “golden time.” And if the networks can sell a fraction of the ideas in those shows overseas, they might become export earners as big as Sony became with the Walkman.
Read the rest of the story: Japan’s Extreme Game Shows Could Find Their Way Onto U.S. TV .