The deal with distributor Small World IFT is thought to mark the first time a Korean format has been taken to a broadcast network in the US.
Known locally as Better Late Than Never, the US show will follow four veteran actors as they backpack across Asian countries alongside a younger porter. The Bucket List producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the one-hour show.
In Korea, the show has been hugely successful for entertainment channel tvN. Korean content firm CJ E&M has so far produced two seasons of the show, plus spin-offs Sisters Over Flowers and Friends Over Flowers and dramedy adaptation Flower Grandpas Investigators.
“It is an exciting time for CJ E&M as our original show formats are getting recognised in the global market, going beyond Asia,” said Lee Deok-Jae, senior media executive at CJ E&M.
“Not simply exporting ideas, but selling full package of show formats, we are leading the development and expansion of Korean TV contents while enhancing our brand power in global media industry,” he added.
CJ E&M distributes the format in Asia, but US- and UK-based Small World sells it elsewhere after acquiring rights in 2013. Small World also has a first-look development deal with NBC, which would have eased Grandpas’ path to the US broadcast market.
A Chinese version is being readied for Dragon TV following a formats pact with CJ E&M.