After finally letting a Canadian compete on Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the franchise is launching its very own Canadian incarnation of the popular reality show.
Bell Media-owned streaming service Crave and OUTtv, which airs the wildly popular drag queen competition, are teaming up to produce a Canadian adaptation called Drag Race Canada.
“The panel and judges will be from the Great White North, representing Canada’s very best,” RuPaul said in a statement. “This new franchise has my whole-hearted blessing. Good luck…and don’t puck it up!”
We’re taking “whole-hearted blessing” and the omission of RuPaul’s name in the title to mean the drag icon will not be hosting.
What we do know: the 10-episode series, which will be produced by Blue Ant Studios, begins casting this summer and production is slated to take place in the fall in Ontario. Judges and a host will be announced later. A premiere date has not been announced.
The original RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered in 2009 and has run for 11 seasons. Past seasons are available on Netflix Canada, but as part of the deal between Drag Race creator World of Wonder and Crave and OUTtv future seasons of the show will air on Crave and OUTtv day and date with the U.S. broadcast on VH1. Additionally, the inaugural season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will be available on Crave day and date with the BBC3 broadcast.
Around the world, Drag Race Canada will stream on World of Wonder’s WOW Presents Plus.
News of the Canadian edition of the show comes after the first Canadian queen, Toronto’s Brooke Lynn Hytes, competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race this year.
The show has spawned a cottage industry and turned drag into a mainstream concern that encompasses touring shows, stand-up comedy, web series and conventions in Los Angeles and New York City. There are also versions of Drag Race being produced in Thailand and Chile.