The Spanish producer will develop 60 episodes of NHK’s entertainment format, which will air on TVE as Mapi.

Independent international distribution company Lineup Industries has signed a pioneering deal with fast-growing Spanish company Mediacrest to produce 60 episodes of NHK’s co-viewing comedy format Chiko’s Challenge for Spanish public broadcaster TVE, where it will air daily.

The sale marks the first time one of NHK’s entertainment formats has been adapted internationally.

Chiko’s Challenge (or Mapi as it will be called in Spain) challenges celebrities with child-like questions which are often surprisingly difficult to answer. The quizmaster is an “eternal 5-year-old” character named Chiko. She is half CGI, half live actor, voiced by a famous comedian. Very curious and hard to please, Chiko challenges the celebrity panel with questions like “Why is ice slippery?”, “Why do grandpas have long eyebrows?”. But be careful! If you cobble together flimsy answers like you do with your kids, Chiko will have a tantrum before an expert reveals the true answer and a humorous demonstration or experiment ensues. Currently one of the biggest studio entertainment shows in Japan with 162 episodes aired since its launch in 2018. Are you up for a challenge by this cheeky know-it-all?

Ed Louwerse, Founder of Lineup Industries, said: “Chiko’s Challenge is a family quiz show but it’s totally unique. With the increasing demand for lighter entertainment and a continuing move towards co-viewing, this show provides fun and entertainment for the whole family.”

TVE Head of Originals Ana María Bordas added: “Chiko’s Challenge or Mapi, as we will call it in Spain, is a format that is aimed at a wide and varied audience. RTVE has decided to bet on this humour contest for being visually and technologically innovative in which the protagonist is a girl whose image is created by CGI. RTVE is committed to introducing new formats and in this case, we are very pleased to share this experience created and tested by Japanese public TV NHK.”

Koji Matsumoto, President and CEO of NHK Enterprises, added: “We are tremendously excited to see Chiko, who is beloved by viewers of all ages in Japan, will be travelling outside her home country and be transformed into Mapi in Spain! This is NHK’s first entertainment format to be localized overseas and we are very grateful to Lineup Industries, Media Crest and TVE for partnering with us to make this happen. We look forward to developing the program with them, and sincerely hope that Mapi will become a household name in Spain just like Chiko at home.”

“Chiko’s Challenge, (Mapi in Spain), is a diamond that we are delighted to produce for TVE, it’s a fantastic program that fits perfectly with Mediacrest’s philosophy and that will delight Spanish public,” said Francisco Pou, CEO of Mediacrest.

The deal for Chiko’s Challenge with TVE follows a distribution agreement between Lineup Industries and NHK Enterprises (the distribution arm of Japanese broadcaster NHK) to drive the global expansion of NHK’s slate of creative, prize-winning formats. NHK/NHK Enterprises and Lineup Industries originally began collaborating with the hugely successful Japanese adaptation of Radio Gaga, a uniquely touching format which follows a hyper-local, intimate radio station and is now in its third season on NHK.