ITV strengthens co-production links with China’s Huace | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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UK commercial TV company ITV is expanding its co-production ties with Chinese production house Huace Film & TV following the success of the Chinese version of its skating format Dancing on Ice.

Huace Film TV logoStar on Ice, directed by filmmaker Zhang Yimou, was produced in China as part of the lead-up to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The show, which features celebrities training with veteran Olympians, began airing in China in January and has been well received, both critically and in ratings.

“Based on the popularity of Star on Ice, Huace and ITV have agreed to put in place a long-term strategy cooperation,” Du Fang, VP of Huace Group, told China Daily.

A new long-term co-operation agreement commits the companies to produce further content for the Chinese market and other international territories.

“Together with ITV’s expertise, [Huace] hopes to achieve an even brighter future,” added Du Fang.

Now airing on a number of Chinese satellite networks, ITV and Huace plan to sell Star on Ice to other Asian outlets.

“It is a very good opportunity to introduce some of the sports, some of the skills needed to compete in the Winter Olympics to the wider Chinese population. We thought a figure skating competition was a very good way to introduce the audience to talent and also the skills that the competing Chinese might need to take part in the winter Olympics,” Mike Beale, executive VP, ITV Studio, was quoted as saying by China’s state broadcaster CCTV.

Star on Ice is the first UK-China TV production to air since the two countries signed the China-UK TV Co-Production Treaty in December 2016.

“There is an understanding that we need to work together and get shows made, and it is not just about bringing Western content into China, but co-creating new content that will work in China and potentially leave China and work for the rest of the world as well,” Beale said.