Kuala Lumpur – Primeworks Studios announced two of its latest Japanese co-production ventures, Welcome to the Railworld Japan and Find the Wasabi!, at a press conference held in Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Welcome to the Railworld Japan, a collaboration between Primeworks Studios and 8TV Malaysia with Nippon Television and Sumitomo Corporation, is currently in its production stage. The variety-game series Find the Wasabi!, on the other hand, sees the collaboration between Primeworks Studios and ntv7 Malaysia with Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) and is slated to begin shooting later this year in November. 

Following a collaboration agreement signed by Media Prima and Nippon Television in 2013, the Welcome to the Rail World format was proposed to the Japanese broadcaster this year, support for international co-productions was made available through the cooperation of the Broadcast Program Export Association of Japan (BEAJ), and discussions began between Primeworks Studios and Nippon Television on producing the railway travelogue series.

Welcome to the Railworld Japan is the Japanese adaptation of the original Welcome to the Rail World format produced by Primeworks Studios in 2010. The series is also based on the concept of Nippon Television’s railway travelogue series, Next Stop, Discovery. The production of the series is helmed by Primeworks Studios, while the key supporting roles including research, technical crew and on-ground coordination are undertaken by Nippon Television. The production has since evolved into a true collaboration of the mind and skills as both production teams merge to create compelling content that would represent the best of both producers.

The co-production provides the perfect opportunity for Primeworks Studios to exchange content production knowledge with another production team, in a bid to strengthen its objective of providing Asian Stories for the World. For 8TV, the broadcaster views the collaboration as good platform for its host Henry Golding to explore Japan in the railway format familiar to the channel’s viewers, and to share his adventures through a Malaysian perspective.

Discussions on co-producing the second season of Find the Wasabi! also commenced with the availability of the same international co-production scenario and Primeworks Studios was engaged as co-producer to work on the TBS-owned format. The production of this infotainment / game show series is led by TBS, while Primeworks Studios supports the production by providing content ideas with a Malaysian flavour as well as a relevant TV personality to be a part of the programme. Malaysian actor and singer as well as ntv7’s Top 10 Chinese personality, Adrian Tan will take on the role as one of the hosts of this show.

Not only does Find the Wasabi! see the collaboration of Primeworks Studios and TBS as main co-producers, but the series also includes Singaporean broadcaster Mediacorp and Thai broadcaster GMM Grammy as associate producers. The four-way co-production is viewed as a pioneering move in the variety-game genre, as international co-productions generally tend to be formed for documentary and dramas.

The co-production presents further learning opportunities for Primeworks Studios in understanding the ways of a Japanese production team, and building up knowledge in producing a different type of genre altogether. Find the Wasabi! is the first Japanese collaboration project for ntv7, and the Malaysian broadcaster is excited to see their talent grow regionally. 

Datuk Kamal Khalid, Chief Operating Officer of Group Shared Services, Media Prima said, “We are immensely excited to be co-producing with such esteemed partners as Nippon Television, Tokyo Broadcasting System and Sumitomo Corporation from Japan. At Primeworks Studios, we are incredibly passionate about our format programming, and we are truly humbled that the Welcome to the Rail World format has been picked up for an adaptation with a unique Japanese twist. At the same time, we are excited to begin working on Find the Wasabi! and contribute a quintessentially Malaysian flavour to the original Japanese game show format. It is one of our key goals to serve as a steadfast production partner to reputable producers worldwide and with our dedication to producing top-notch quality content, we aim to fortify our collaboration portfolio further in these coming years.” 

The press conference was held during the Asia Co-Productions – Existing & Potential Partnerships Conference at Content Malaysia 2014. Organized by the Creative Content Association of Malaysia (CCAM) and National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS), Content Malaysia 2014 provides a platform for content creation professionals worldwide to confer on the latest industry trends. Held from September 17 to 19, the event programme includes conference sessions, master classes, and pitching sessions.

“We are extremely proud of the co-production between Primeworks Studios with Nippon TV and TBS Japan. This foray into international co-production wonderfully complements CCAM’s efforts in getting the Malaysian creative content industry to work with mainstream partners beyond our borders. We can only hope that other companies would take the cue from this, because the potential revenue to be had is immense”, said Dato’ Mahyidin Mustakim, the Chief Executive Officer of CCAM.


Welcome to the Railworld Japan

Genre                          : Travelogue

Language                    : English

Episodes                     : 10 episodes x 30 minutes

Broadcaster                : 8TV Malaysia

Telecast                      : January to March 2015

Digital                          : Catch up on Tonton (www.tonton.com.my)