Countdown to local version of global sensation Letters and Numbers on

28 January 2010

SBS will produce a local version of a hugely successful global quiz show after licensing the format from France TV which airs the French version Letters and Numbers (Des chiffres et des lettres).

A half-hour program, SBS will initially produce 100 episodes of the yet to be named local series which will air weeknights from June 2010. The series will be produced by Shine Australia.

"The Letters and Numbers format is a global sensation with local versions in France, the UK, South Africa, Israel and Mexico just to name a few," SBS's Director of Television and Online Content, Matt Campbell said.

"While there are subtle differences in each local version of the show, two contestants face numerical challenges and word games and even duel to become the return champion.

"The only prize the contestants win is the glory of being the carry-over champ.   There are no million dollar prizes in this contest. Although in the UK they do win a specially-commissioned tea pot."

Testament to the format's longevity, the French version of the show has been running since the 1960s and the UK version, Countdown, was the very first show ever broadcast on Channel Four in the UK in 1982 and is still going to this day.

Further details about the Australian version of the show will be announced over the coming weeks.