Drag Race Australia looks to 2020 premiere

Exclusive: ITV Studios Australia has landed local format rights to the runway's most fabulous TV battle.

EXCLUSIVE: Gentlemen, start your engines and may the best woman win for Drag Race Australia….

TV Tonight can reveal ITV Studios Australia has landed the local format rights to the hit reality contest, made famous by RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Passion Distribution and World Of Wonder.

Producers are about to begin discussions with Australian broadcasters, with a view to a 2020 contest.

The hunt for the best drag queen is now in is 11th season in the US, where it has won 9 Emmys, and spawned RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK  -all 3 editions screen in Australia on Stan.

Former Australian Idol artisté, Courtney Act (aka Shane Jenek, pictured) was also runner-up in the 2014 US series.

When approached for comment by TV Tonight, CEO David Mott confirmed, “Yes ITV Studios Australia have secured the rights to arguably one of the biggest formats globally at the moment.

“With Drag Race UK about to launch and already a major hit in the US and other territories we are set to shantay onto Australian screens in 2020.

Drag Race has moved on to being a show that captures the imagination of everyone ,no matter their age or gender and we will commence discussing with potential broadcast and streaming partners shortly. It will be one of the most talked about and noisy formats next year.”

In addition to network, a host is yet to be confirmed.

33 Responses

    1. Once upon a time i would’ve said that but we are hardly a conservative audience in Australia now. Even many years ago, Number 96 rated its socks off it was just the church goers woudn’t admit it to their friends.
      Shows with the ‘kink’ factor always rate, boring o’l mum & dad’s in the burbs need something to brighten up their dull lives.

  1. We are going to ruin it. We do not have the same prolific drag scene in Australia. Also, when it comes to commercial FTA, Australian sensibilities are much too daggy (which I think is part of why I Will Survive didn’t do so well). It miiiight have a chance if SBS2 got it and it were actually made by people in the LGBT community who are fans of the actual show, but it is a big task for an Australian version to work.

      1. The point I was trying to make was my fear of them taking the edge off of the show by trying to mainstream it. The fact that the press release says that it “captures the imagination of everyone, no matter their age or gender” seems to point in that direction (also, no mention of sexual orientation in that statement, which I would argue is more integral to the DNA of the show than age). Also, that’s the first time I’ve seen the word “Shantay” used that way. If it’s going to be made by and/or for a different demographic than what the original is, then I personally think the product will suffer.

        Also, as a side note. I’ve seen House of Drag from NZ and I’ve seen Drag Race Thailand. House of Drag was similar enough in format to invite comparison but different enough to fall short (and the show’s budget and the quality of the queens was a real contrast). Drag Race Thailand had a…

  2. At first I thought this was fantastic news, until I realised that – as an Australian reality production – we’re probably going to ruin it with backstories and stretch each hourly episode out to 87 minutes long.

    Fascinated to see who they’ll get to host though.

  3. Interesting. I hope that this ends up on Stan. I can’t see any of the FTA stations doing the concept justice.

    And it would be good to see Courtney Act as the host or at least as a regular on the judging panel.

    Fingers crossed they can hide the producer interference / extreme editing a little better than the US version of late.

      1. I wouldn’t rule it out. Ru would do it for the right pay check. His boyfriend is Australian, they could come and visit the family, line up the filming with Mardi Gras. It would only take about a month to film the whole season I imagine.

  4. This is great news, although RuPaul’s original show has gone a bit stale.

    The networks here would be hesitant to touch it I reckon, as I believe the last drag-related show (Priscilla show on 10) absolutely tanked.

  5. Oh wow! This is incredible news!
    I’d love it if Carson Kressley was involved. Aussies love him!
    Courtney Act would be an amazing host.
    Such a good idea to highlight our local talent.

      1. I’m not one to indulge in idle gossip, but Google ‘Ru Paul’ blocked Courtney Act on Twitter’ and that will probably answer your question on that.

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