Grandpas Over Flowers renewed in the Netherlands and picked up for development in the UK by Graham Norton’s So Television

South Korean unscripted format Grandpas Over Flowers (aka Better Late Than Never) has been renewed in the Netherlands and picked up for development in the UK.

Dutch commercial broadcaster RTL4 has picked up the format for a second season after extending the licence deal it struck with US-based format distributor Small World IFT for season one.

Fremantle-owned Blue Circle is producing the six-episode new season, which was shot in South America earlier this year and will debut in the 20.30 slot on May 5. With a new host in actor Katja Schuurman, the show was shot in Surinam, Mexico, Cuba and Brazil and production was completed a few weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered productions worldwide.

RTL4’s first season of the show aired in summer 2018, and the Netherlands is one of 10 countries where the format from Korea’s CJ ENM has been picked up for local production. As well as South Korea, the format has also been produced for broadcasters in the US, Italy, Turkey, France, Thailand, Poland, Israel and China.

In related news, Irish TV presenter Graham Norton’s UK-based and ITV-owned production company So Television has acquired the rights to the format to develop for the UK market, after a deal with Small World.

Small World president Tim Crescenti told C21 that further options for the format had been inked with companies in Australia, Belgium, India and Portugal.

“In these crazy times, when people can’t even leave their homes, getting to travel vicariously through this fun format is fantastic. Plus you get top-notch entertainment with these veteran celebs – sort of like travel porn,” Crescenti said.

“Secondly, we are proud to announce a recent agreement with Graham Norton’s So TV with Graham Stuart for a UK adaptation of Better Late Than Never, aka Grandpas Over Flowers. Likely Graham Norton and Graham Stuart will be executive producers as they begin to develop it over the summer.”

Based on the original format Grandpas Over Flowers, which secured record-breaking viewing figures on CJ-owned channel TVN in South Korea, the reality format features four celebrities of a certain age and one young backpacker, who go on a daunting journey together.

Diane Min, format sales manager at CJ ENM, said she was “thrilled to have Grandpas Over Flowers renewed in the Netherlands. I hope it can entertain Dutch fans with travel, sightseeing and chemistry between the cast.”