London / Cannes – Zig Zag Productions announced it is remaking NTV’s hit game show format Ultimate Brain for CBBC on April 8.
The 10 x 30’ science series — originally a prime time game show hit for a family audience on Japan’s NTV — encourages intelligence, intuition and creative thinking skills. Ultimate Brain features a madcap, physical game show filmed in a giant brain-shaped studio and presented by Ultimate Brain’s quizmaster Dr Brain. On screen graphics explain the science element behind correct answers in the show as kids battle for the honour of becoming the Ultimate Brain.
Zig Zag acquired the UK rights for the format directly from NTV and also introduced the format to Eccho Rights, the distribution arm of global independent producers’ format alliance Sparks Network. The format has subsequently been licensed to TV channel Rossiya (Russia), producers Strix (Denmark) and Sputnik in Belgium. Zig Zag also retains the U.S. and Canadian rights to remake Ultimate Brain in those territories.
The deal marks the production company’s latest success with a Japanese physical game show format. Zig Zag recently partnered with the Yoshimoto agency, making game show format Time Out for regional broadcaster KTV as well as simultaneously shooting a UK version of the show. Zig Zag also optioned NTV’s physical game show format Exit in the U.S. and UK and which is now being made for U.S. cable net Syfy.
The deal is also Zig Zag’s latest children’s format commission, having recently sold 15 episodes of slow motion, physical game show Split/ Second to Viacom channel Nickelodeon.
“We’ve had some great successes with Japanese game show formats and we are especially pleased to be remaking Ultimate Brain for a children’s audience with CBBC,” said Zig Zag CEO Danny Fenton. “Ultimate Brain’s creative, intuitive and problem solving challenges coupled with the physical game show aspect makes it a perfect format for kids.”
Hugh Lawton, executive producer for CBBC, said: “Bright kids with attitude, science you can literally get stuck into and a fast-moving entertainment format. There’s nothing not to like and I am confident the CBBC viewers will love this too.”
“We and Zig Zag have a special eye for innovative formats with an original twist. Ultimate Brain is a fantastic format that adds new spices to the entertainment genre. We hereby invite producers and TV channels from all over the world to come and see the shooting of the format. Just let us know. It’s worth the visit!” said Nicola Soderlund, Managing Partner at Eccho Rights.
Ultimate Brain is executive produced by Danny Fenton for Zig Zag Productions and Hugh Lawton for CBBC. It was commissioned by Cheryl Taylor, Controller of CBBC.