Stan and TVNZ have co-commissioned an ANZ version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, to be hosted by RuPaul together with regular co-judge Michelle Visage.
Titled RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, the eight-part reality series will follow the US format and feature a mixture of Aussie and Kiwi drag queens competing to be crowned the first ever ‘Down Under Drag Race Superstar’.
While there have been several international spin-offs of the show, including in Canada, the Netherlands and Thailand, the ‘Down Under’ and UK editions are only the international franchises to be judged by RuPaul and Visage.
World of Wonder (WOW) and Warner Bros. International Production New Zealand will produce, with filming to begin in Auckland this week. Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey, Tom Campbell and RuPaul Charles serve as EPs.
The final judge on the main panel (rumoured to be comedian Rhys Nicholson) and celebrity guest appearances will be announced later this year.
RuPaul said: “I cannot wait for everyone to see that Down Under queens have some of the biggest charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talents in the world. Thank you to Stan and TVNZ for providing a platform for these outrageous drag artists to share their heart, soul and humour.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under marks Stan’s first reality commission.
Chief content officer Nick Forward said: “You asked for it Australia, and now we’re bringing it to you – finally, our very own Aussie Drag Race, the new Stan Original Series RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under! The series is already a huge hit with our audience, so to now be working with RuPaul and the entire team at World of Wonder to create a local version is beyond a thrill. We can’t wait to reveal all the guest judges and see what our local queens bring to the global sensation that is RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Passion Distribution will distribute the series globally in line with Passion Distribution and WOW’s distribution strategy.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under will premiere later this year.