A Cambodian Dancing with the Stars is set to air in mid-2014, after the Cambodian Broadcasting Service was last week granted the rights to produce a local version of the reality television show.
“It was on our wish-list for a while, and finally we secured the deal,” said CBS general manager Bernard Anthony, adding that it would be a fresh addition to a national television line-up dominated by concerts and singing competitions.
“Cambodia is changing, so we would like to offer our audience a different taste. It will be interesting to find out how it rates,” Anthony said.
He said the CBS would be interested in further deals with the BBC if Dancing with the Stars took off.
“It all depends on the format on offer, and taste of local audience,” he said.
The format, which is owned by BBC Worldwide, pairs professional dancers with celebrities. The teams perform a dance each episode and are scored by both a panel of judges and audience members who vote via phone.
The group with the lowest score is eliminated at the episode’s end, with the final surviving pair emerging as the winners in the series finale.
Local versions of Dancing with the Stars have already been launched in Thailand and Vietnam and 47 other countries around the world. More than 220 series have aired since the format was launched in 2004. Although known in the UK as Strictly Come Dancing, the format is commonly sold as Dancing with the Stars in foreign markets.
Mark Whitehead, senior vice-president and general manager of BBC Worldwide Channels Asia, said in a statement that Cambodia was a promising market for BBC programming.
“Dancing with the Stars has been a huge global success and we are confident that the local format will take on the same reception with the viewers there,” said Whitehead.
He added that the BBC already launched BBC World News, BBC Lifestyle and BBC Knowledge on the Kingdom’s One TV digital pay television platform earlier this year.
Dancing with the Stars is the third UK reality show to be licensed in the Kingdom in recent months, with UK-based Fremantle Media having announced in October that the rights for Cambodian Idol and Cambodia’s Got Talent formats were sold to Hong Meas Group for production in 2014.
Fremantle declined to comment further, while Hong Meas could not be reached as of press time.