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Abema TV orders Japan’s first version of Got Talent from Yoshimoto Kogyo

Japan’s Got Talent judges (L-R) GACKT, Alice Hirose, Takayuki Yamada and Masatoshi Hamada

New Asahi TV-owned digital platform Abema TV in Japan has commissioned the country’s first local version of the Got Talent format.

The rights to the format, created by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment, were licensed by European production giant Fremantle to Japan’s Yoshimoto Kogyo, which will produce Japan’s Got Talent for a February launch.

The format has been adapted in 194 countries including the UK, US and Argentina since its creation in 2006.

Katsuhiko Waza, senior VP of distribution in Japan, Paul Ridley, senior exec VP of international distribution, and Stephen Flint, director of operations for global entertainment production, put the deal together for Fremantle, which owns the format and finished tape rights globally.

The show will be made by the TV production arm of Yoshimoto Kogyo, which began as an Osaka theatre in 1912 and has progressed to become one of Japan’s most influential businesses.

In the Japanese show, contestants will face no restrictions on age or the talent they choose to showcase to the judges, who have been named as actor, comedian and singer Masatoshi Hamada (Downtown), actress Alice Hirose, singer GACKT and actor Takayuki Yamada (Socrates).

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