Better Late Than Never (TV series)

Better Late Than Never

Promotional poster
Written by
  • Paul Greenberg
  • John Kennedy
  • Carol Leifer
Directed by Troy Miller
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 4
Executive producer(s)
Location(s) Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Hong Kong, Phuket, Chiang Mai
Running time 43–45 minutes
Production company(s) Universal Television
Storyline Entertainment
Original network NBC
Original release August 23, 2016 (2016-08-23) – present
Related shows Grandpas Over Flowers, South Korea
External links

Better Late Than Never is an American reality-travel show series that airs on NBC and is produced by Universal Television, in association with Storyline Entertainment.[1][2] The series is an adaptation of the popular South Korean Grandpas Over Flowers series.[3][4] The cast includes four "seasoned" American celebrities William Shatner, Henry Winkler, George Foreman and Terry Bradshaw, accompanied by younger comedian Jeff Dye, as they backpack through Asia without luxuries, experiencing new cultures and checking off their bucket lists.[4][5] The series started productions in August 2015[6] and premiered August 23, 2016.[7]

On September 22, 2016 NBC renewed the series for a second season.[8]


In late 2014, NBC bought the remake rights for the South Korean series Grandpas Over Flowers from CJ E&M.[3][9] The original show was one of the first successful programs for cable tvN and had two spin-off shows.[3][4] It premiered in 2013, reached a high local rating of 12.5 percent, and became popular in other Asian countries, with the combination of veteran actors in their seventies and a popular young actor attracting a wide demographic range of viewers for a reality show.[10][11]

The show is being produced by cast member Winkler, along with Jason Ehrlich, producer of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Tim Crescenti, of I Survived a Japanese Game Show and Storyline Entertainment's two producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, of The Bucket List.[1][2]

Plans for the series were announced in June 2015.[1][2] Productions started in Japan in August, and on August 12, 2015, the cast was interviewed by comedian Bibiru Ōki on Japan's Nippon TV talk show PON!, and filmed for the NBC show with the Japanese cast.[12] Also in August, the cast visited South Korea, arriving in Seoul on August 20 for a three-day trip, including a visit to COEX for filming with cameo guests, K-pop girl group Girls' Generation, and trips to Hwaseong Fortress,[13] Caribbean Bay, Itaewon, and the Korean Demilitarized Zone[14][15][16][17]

Japan, including Tokyo and Kyoto, was the first stop for the show, with more trips to include Seoul, Hong Kong, Phuket and Chiang Mai.[10][18][19]

According to NBC, the five cast members will rely on each other for support and encouragement and demonstrate that friendship is the ultimate gift.[20] While filming the show in Southeast Asia, Shatner, the oldest cast member,[21] and very active with his career at age 84, became interested in Buddhism and meditation after spending time with a Buddhist monk.[22] He said, "The disaster of death is encroaching so I’m more and more aware of how beautiful it is to be alive."[22]


The cast includes actor, producer, writer and director Henry Winkler, best known for his iconic character The Fonz from the series Happy Days;[1] actor, director and writer William Shatner who starred as, among other roles, Capt. James T. Kirk in Star Trek;[1][18] four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and current football broadcaster Terry Bradshaw;[20] and former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman.[20] Like the original show, the older cast will be accompanied by a younger cast member, comedian Jeff Dye, from NBC's Last Comic Standing, who will take on the equivalent role as Lee Seo-jin’s, as "bag carrier and human navigator."[4][21]


Title[19] Original air date Prod.
U.S. viewers
1"Welcome to Tokyo"August 23, 2016 (2016-08-23)1017.35[23]
2"Kyoto and Hong Kong: Less Talky, More Sake"August 30, 2016 (2016-08-30)1027.33[24]
3"Seoul Brothers"September 6, 2016 (2016-09-06)1036.91[25]
4"A Thai Goodbye"September 13, 2016 (2016-09-13)1047.64[26]

Reception and impact

This is the first time a South Korean local variety program was adapted by a North American national broadcast network.[3][9] During production time, the show's sponsors, Korea Tourism Organization, anticipated the advertising effect of the airing of the Korea episode on NBC prime time to amount to as much as 11 billion won ($9.2 million dollars).[16]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Nakamura, Reid (June 9, 2015). "Henry Winkler, William Shatner Set for NBC 'Better Late Than Never' Reality Series". TheWrap. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 Stanhope, Kate (June 9, 2015). "Henry Winkler, William Shatner to Headline NBC Adventure Series 'Better Late Than Never'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Lee, Hyo-won (September 2, 2014). "This will be the first U.S. adaptation of a Korean variety show". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Hong, Tae (June 10, 2015). "NBC casts William Shatner, George Foreman, Henry Winkler in 'Grandpas Over Flowers' remake". The Korea Times/Yonhap. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  5. "Better Late than Never TV Show". TV Guide. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  6. Littleton, Cynthia (June 9, 2015). "William Shatner, Henry Winkler Set For NBC Reality Show 'Better Late Than Never'". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  7. "NBC Sets for Comedy Event Series 'Better Late Than Never' and Season Debut for Adventure Series 'Running Wild with Bear Grylls'". The Futon Critic. June 1, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  8. Andreeva, Nellie (September 22, 2016). "'Better Late Than Never' Reality Series Renewed For Season 2 By NBC". Deadline. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  9. 1 2 Frater, Patrick (September 2, 2014). "NBC Says 'Better Late Than Never' to Korean Format 'Grandpas'". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  10. 1 2 Lee, Hyo-won (August 24, 2015). "William Shatner, Henry Winkler Film Reality Show in South Korea". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  11. Guerrero, Danger (September 3, 2014). "NBC Is Making A Reality Show About Grandpas Traveling The World". Uproxx. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  12. 『PON!』がアメリカ進出! ビビる大木が海外番組で初MC (in Japanese). Gunosy. August 12, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  13. Citizen Journalists (August 23, 2015). '살아있는 전설' 복서 조지 포먼이 수원 연무대에! 22일 미국판 꽃보다 할배 ‘Better Late Than Never’ 수원화성 촬영 (in Korean). Suwon City Government. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  14. Park, Sojung (August 20, 2015). "Girls' Generation to make cameo on U.S. show". Yonhap. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  15. "Girls' Generation to Appear on U.S. Version of Korean Reality Show". The Chosun Ilbo. August 21, 2015. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  16. 1 2 Jin, Min-ji (August 21, 2015). "Elderly American stars visiting Seoul". JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  17. Kim, Seong (August 19, 2015). 美 NBC 미국판 ‘꽃보다 할배’ 22일 수원서 촬영 美 스타들 화성 연무대서 전통문화 체험 (in Korean). MoneyToday. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  18. 1 2 Staff (June 11, 2015). "Shatner Beaming To Asia". CBS. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  19. 1 2 "Better Late Than Never". NBC. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  20. 1 2 3 City News Service (June 10, 2015). "What brings William Shatner, Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman together?". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  21. 1 2 Reporter (June 9, 2015). "Old guys abroad: William Shatner, 84, and Henry Winkler, 69, set to star in new travel series Better Late Than Never". Daily Mail. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  22. 1 2 McKay, Stephanie (September 16, 2015). "Star Trek and beyond: William Shatner busy as ever in his 80s". The StarPhoenix. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  23. Porter, Rick (August 24, 2016). "Tuesday final ratings: 'Better Late Than Never,' everything else unchanged". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  24. Porter, Rick (August 31, 2016). "Tuesday final ratings: 'America's Got Talent' adjusts up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  25. Porter, Rick (September 8, 2016). "Tuesday final ratings:'America's Got Talent' adjusts up, 'Better Late Than Never' adjusts down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  26. Porter, Rick (September 14, 2016). "Tuesday final ratings: 'America's Got Talent' adjusts up, 'Better Late Than Never' adjusts down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 14, 2016.

External links

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