The announcement follows the news in China of a local Mandarin language adaptation of the critically acclaimed drama Humans, which started filming in early July.
Endemol Shine China, part of global content creator, producer and distributor, Endemol Shine Group, announced a licensing partnership with Mint Reading for the Humans brand.
Mint Reading delivers English learning products via the Wechat platform that reaches 1.04 billion users in China. Launched in June 2016, Mint Reading aims to help readers wanting to learn or improve their English, by aiding the reading of three to four English language books (or other English language content) over 100 days.
The partnership will see scripts of the UK version of Humans Season 1, divided into 100 days of 15 minutes reading content. All dialogue in the scripts are from the original show and readers can also listen to accompanying audios in English.
Themed chat groups will also be created and encouraged to be used by the readers. Tutors will help readers understand the content and strengthen key words and phrases, and also encourage active discussion among readers about the storylines and the show.
William Tan, Managing Director of Endemol Shine China emphasizes that such a partnership represents among the few official licensed product that combines scripted shows and English learning. He believes such form of edutainment benefits readers and makes English learning more interesting.
“We are really excited to have Mint Reading as our partner in a non-traditional way, forming part of our brand licensing strategy. We have added Humans to our other strong global brands like Mr Bean, MasterChef and Simon’s Cat, since launching our brand licensing business in China less than a year ago.”
Jane Smith, Group Director, Brand Licensing and Gaming. Endemol Shine Group, added, “The deal with Mint Reading is further evidence of our intention to develop our scripted IP off-air. By working collaboratively with our local OpCos, like Endemol Shine China, we are able to leverage their market presence and tap into their deep market knowledge, to further strengthen our global brand licensing footprint.”
In addition to the English learning materials, Mint Reading will also publish the scripts as print books. The books will be sold via their online shop, and other book selling channels in China. Both of the products are expected to be launched early 2019 in conjunction with the launch of Humans China.
The series of Humans in China is a co-production of Endemol Shine China and local production house Croton Media, marking Endemol Shine China’s successful expansion into scripted business.
The Mandarin series is based on Humans UK, as produced by Kudos for Channel 4 and AMC, which was adapted from the original Swedish series of Real Humans produced by Sveriges Television and Matador Film.
The third series of Humans finished its eight-episode run earlier this year on Channel 4 in the UK and AMC in the United States, to widespread critical acclaim. Its launch in 2015 was Channel 4’s most watched drama for over 20 years and it has since been sold across 178 territories by Endemol Shine International. The company will also distribute the Chinese version internationally.