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Format Awards 2021

TVNZ enters Drag Race Down Under

Stan is already streaming RuPaul’s Drag Race US and UK

TVNZ is on board streaming service Stan’s recently confirmed Australian and New Zealand version of hit competition format RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Stan in Australia yesterday confirmed it has commissioned RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under together with TVNZ, with World of Wonder (WOW) producing in collaboration with Warner Bros International Production New Zealand.

The latest international version of the drag competition format begins filming in Auckland later this week and follows remakes in Thailand, Canada, the Netherlands, Chile, Spain and the UK.

The eight-part series, due to launch later this year, will be executive produced by Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey, Tom Campbell and RuPaul Charles, who will co-judge alongside Drag Race veteran Michelle Visage.

Passion Distribution distributes the series globally, in line with it and WOW’s distribution strategy.

According to local reports, the reality show had originally been set to shoot in Sydney. But following the recent outbreak of Covid-19 there it has shifted to Auckland, as New Zealand is currently reporting no coronavirus cases.

The country’s immigration department confirmed last week that 16 members of the cast and crew, including host RuPaul Charles, are in the city in managed isolation, which takes two-weeks and is mandatory for all new arrivals to the country.

The drag queens competing in the first season of down under, the final judge on the main panel and celebrity guest appearances will be announced later this year.

RuPaul said: “I cannot wait for everyone to see that down under queens have some of the biggest charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talents in the world. Thank you to Stan and TVNZ for providing a platform for these outrageous drag artists to share their heart, soul and humour.”

Nick Forward, Stan’s chief content officer, added: “You asked for it Australia, and now we’re bringing it to you – finally, our very own Aussie Drag Race. The series is already a huge hit with our audience, so to now be working with RuPaul and the entire team at World of Wonder to create a local version is beyond a thrill.”

Currently, Stan is streaming the US and UK versions of the show, which was created by LA-based WOW. The commission marks its first original reality production.

The prodco recently launched its own international streaming service, WOW Presents Plus, in the UK, US and other international markets.

ViacomCBS-owned US network VH1 last year greenlit more seasons of Drag Race spin-off RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and aftershow series Untucked.

The show will return for its 13th season, while RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, in which some of the stars of the main series compete for a spot in the Drag Race hall of fame, is coming back for its sixth season. Untucked, meanwhile, follows every episode of both the main show and the spin-off.

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