China’s largest TV channel, CCTV1, has picked up the format rights for Red Arrow International’s improv comedy “Schiller Street”. Set to premiere on June 6 under the local title “Joy Street” (“喜乐街”), the show will also be accessible through online streaming and free online VOD on major Chinese internet platforms.
Having already been sold to 20 countries across Europe and Africa, (including France, Russia, and South Africa), “Schiller Street” is now set to hit yet another continent. The format has received many prestigious international awards, such as the Italian ‘Telegrolle’ for “Best Sitcom” and a ‘SAFTA’ (‘South African Film and Television Award’) for “Best Comedy Ensemble”.
“Schiller Street” is improv comedy at its best: Top-class comedians are guided not by a script but by spontaneous directions which are communicated via earphones to individual cast members.
Yan He, Senior Vice President Sales, Asia Pacific at Red Arrow International says: “Yet another commission from our long-standing partners at CCTV! ‘Schiller Street’ is based on such a unique and entertaining concept – I am so excited it is heading to China. I can’t wait to see the big stars they have lined up!”
About “Schiller Street”
“Schiller Street” highlights the almost-lost art of improvisation. Although seemingly simple, the improv comedy show boasts a groundbreaking concept that is realized through a highly defined production method.
The basics: a stage, a few top-class comedians, a continual flow of surprise guests – and no script whatsoever. Originally created by Hurricane Productions, “Schiller Street” cleverly combines improv comedy with a true sitcom feeling. Using a headset, the director guides each comedian with individual instructions that are unknown to the other cast members.
By creating an amusing and gripping storyline without the limitations of following a script, “Schiller Street” delivers improv comedy at its best. The reaction of the others to a character’s cue is what has made this show so incredibly funny. “Act like an Eskimo”, “Imitate a stewardess” or “You feel like John Travolta” – confronted by such out-there tasks, each comedian must improvise on the spot and go with the flow. Anything can happen… and it usually does!
A rotating variety of guests keep the humor at high level, although there are never more than 5 actors on stage at any point in time.
The audience is kept aware of the hidden dialogue, which is flashed on the screen – but with the sheer spontaneity of the situation, no one could possibly predict in what direction they will go next…