EXCLUSIVE: Craig Plestis, the man who brought Korean format The Masked Singer to the U.S., has struck a deal with Japan’s Tokyo Broadcasting System Television to create unscripted formats for the U.S. and global markets.
The deal will see Plestis, who runs production company Smart Dog Media and executive produces Fox’s version of the mystery singing competition, and Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, the company behind Ninja Warrior and Takeshi’s Castle, jointly develop programming.
The pair will look to take advantage of the boom in Asian formats to create new shows that can build on the success of The Masked Singer and I Can See Your Voice.
Plestis is exec producing a U.S. version of I Can See Your Voice for Fox and Celebrity Show-Off for U.S. cable network TBS, which are both based on Korean formats, as well as The Masked Singer spinoff The Masked Dancer.
The Japanese company is also behind formats such as America’s Funniest Home Videos, Happy Family Plan and Alternative Love.
The deal comes ahead of the tonight’s launch of the fifth season of The Masked Singer on Fox.
Prior to setting up Smart Dog Media, Plestis was the head of reality programming at NBC, where he launched shows such as America’s Got Talent, Deal or No Deal and The Biggest Loser.
He is represented by Paradigm. Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. was assisted by Bellon Entertainment.
Plestis said, “This is a match made in heaven. I’m so excited to be working with Tokyo Broadcasting System Television and joining forces to create entertaining content for audiences around the world.”
Junko Abe, TBS’ president of Media Business, added, “The collaboration with Craig Plestis and Smart Dog Media is a new frontier for TBS as we look to create content for a global audience.”