Plenty Of Glory For ‘Gutz’ In The Philippines
E!‘s first international reality series, It Takes Gutz To Be A Gutierrez, has been given an early renewal for Season 2. The trials and tribulations of the Filipino showbiz clan broke ratings records throughout the S1 run, becoming the channel’s most watched program in the Philippines since January 2013. At its peak, it made E! the No. 1 channel in its primetime slot among key demographics. The series also performed well in Malaysia. As in cinema, producing for local audiences can be a lucrative business. NBC Universal’s E! is aiming to build a superstar family reality franchise in Asia with the Gutz. The six-episode series gives viewers unfiltered access to the Gutierrez family, which includes former beauty queen Ruffa; her twin brothers, actor Richard and fashionista Raymond; and their parents, veteran screen star Eddie and political aspirant/talent manager Annabelle. The season finale of It Takes Gutz To Be A Gutierrez airs July 6. Here’s a trailer:
‘Rising Star’ Heading To Italy On Mediaset Canale 5
Rising Star has found a broadcast home in Italy. The Keshet International format will be produced for Mediaset Canale 5 by Sony Pictures Television’s local shingle, Toro Produzioni. Eight episodes have been commissioned to air during the 2015 season. Rising Star has sold to over 25 international markets. Brazil, Portugal and the U.S. are currently on air. A second season is planned at … Read More »
Shine International has taken on international distribution for ITV’s Code Of A Killer and Channel 5’s Rome: The World’s First Superpower. The former, produced by World Productions, tells the true story of Alec Jeffreys’ discovery of DNA fingerprinting in the 1980s and its first use by detective David Baker (played by David Threlfall) in solving a double murder only three miles from Jeffreys’ lab. James Strong (Broadchurch/Gracepoint) is set to direct the two-part drama, which shoots in September. Rome: The World’s First Superpower is co-produced by 360Production and GroupM Entertainment. It looks at the major heroes and villains from Hannibal and Julius Caesar to Spartacus and Cleopatra and tells the story of how one small city among many conquered the world and then ran it for nearly 1,000 years. Read More »
Under the exclusive deal with Shine International, all episodes of the first season of FX‘s The Bridge will be available on Hulu Plus beginning today. Limited promotional episodes also will be available on Hulu.com. Starring Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger, the present-day crime thriller explores tensions on the US-Mexico border. Ted Levine, Annabeth Gish and Thomas M. Wright co-star. The Bridge is a co-production of Shine America and FX Prods. It was adapted for American television from the international hit series Bron/Broen by executive producers Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid. Shine America’s Carolyn G. Bernstein and Filmlance’s Lars Blomgren also exec produce. Season two of The Bridge premieres on FX July 9.
Shine International Launching Branded On-Demand Channel
In a first for Shine International, the sales and distribution division of Shine Group is launching a branded on-demand streaming channel. Initially going out in the U.S. via Roku, the channel will offer more than 200 hours of multi-genre programming including The School, Got To Dance, The Magicians, Eternal Law and The Sandhamn Murders. Content is available for free with advertising, or can be rented ad-free.
‘Small Time Gangster’ Heads To Romania As ‘Umbre’
HBO Europe will start production next month in Romania on Umbre, a local version of Australian series Small Time Gangster. The eight-parter is set to air on HBO Romania in early 2015, Film News Europe reports. The dark comedy follows a taxi driver whose side job is working for a Bucharest mobster. After he accidentally kills someone, he can’t extricate himself from the mob. Igor Cobileanski (The Unsaved) is directing from a script by Bogdan Mirica. The original aired on SBS in 2013 and is distributed internationally by DRG Formats. Read More »
A+E Networks UK Orders British Version Of ‘Dance Moms’
The UK is getting the first format adaptation of Lifetime’s U.S. reality series Dance Moms. A+E Networks UK has ordered a British version the show, to be titled Dance Mums. Shiver, part of ITV Studios, will produce eight hourlong episodes of the show, which will be fronted by actress and dance Jennifer Ellison, whose Liverpool dance school Fame Academy provides the setting. Dance Mums is due to air this year.
Network Ten Bringing Fake Prince Harry Reality Show To Australia
Network Ten has acquired Shine International’s upcoming reality series I Wanna Marry ‘Harry’ for Australia. Co-produced by Zig Zag Productions and Ryan Seacrest Productions, the eight-episode series features 12 women competing for their chance to marry “Prince Harry”, while living at an English estate. But there is a catch: It’s not actually Prince Harry but imposter Matthew Hicks. Marry ‘Harry’, executive produced by Danny Fenton, Kevin Utton, Matt Gould, Ryan Seacrest, Adam Sher, Heather Schuster, David Tibballs and Rebecca Eisen, will have its global premiere May 27 on Fox. Read More »
Idris Elba’s Green Door Inks Co-Production Deal With Shine North
After collaborating on BBC Two racing documentary King Of Speed, Idris Elba’s Green Door production shingle and Shine North have pacted to develop more factual programming. The exclusive co-production deal will see the two companies work together to develop and produce shows for the UK and international markets. Elba will produce and host. King Of Speed aired in the UK in December and then sold to more than 100 territories. Elba has honed his hosting skills on other UK specials including Channel 4’s How Hip Hop Changed The World and How Clubbing Changed The World. He launched Green Door last year, and the shop is in development on scripted projects for various UK broadcasters. The nonscripted collaboration will be creatively managed by Shine North’s Rick Murray who exec produced King Of Speed with Elba. Shine International will handle world sales. Read More »
In what marks the first official scripted series green light for Xbox Entertainment Studios, the entertainment arm of Microsoft’s XBox has teamed with UK broadcaster Channel 4 to co-produce Humans. The drama, which has received an eight-episode order, hails from UK production company, Kudos (Broadchurch), which has been developing the project, an adaptation of Swedish series Real Humans (watch trailer below), for more than three years. Humans will begin production in the summer for a premiere on the Xbox platform in North America and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015. Read More »
Shine International Taps Kerry Ball As SVP Digital Business Development
Shine International, the sales and distribution arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group, is bringing its digital business in-house. The indie has appointed Kerry Ball to the newly created post of SVP Digital Business Development. Ball will lead digital sales strategy and manage day-to-day sales to digital and home entertainment platforms for Shine International represented properties. Prior to Ball’s appointment, the business was managed on a consultancy basis by Gordon Synn, who brokered VOD deals of The Hour to Amazon, multi-title agreements with Netflix, library deals with Hulu and an output partnership with China’s Youku Tudou. Synn will hand over to Ball when she takes over later this month. Ball will be based in London. She joins from Canada’s Stingray Digital, where she was VP for Europe. Prior to Stingray, she spent eight years at NBCUniversal. Shine International properties include The Bridge, Broadchurch, The Face and MasterChef. Read More »
Jesus Perezagua Exiting Fox International Channels
Fox International Channels President of Europe and Africa Jesus Perezagua has announced his departure. The exec has been at the company since 2003. He joined as managing director of FIC Spain and Portugal and in 2005 took over the company’s expansion plan in Eastern and Central Europe, Turkey and Greece. Perezagua became President of FIC Europe and Africa in 2011. He will step down from the role on April 30 but will continue to consult FIC. The search is on for a successor. Prior to FIC, Perezagua held posts at Iberian Channels and Online for Fox Kids Entertainment Espana and was Managing Director of Bandai Espana, a Japanese toy company specializing in TV marketing concepts. Read More »
ION Television has joined Shaftesbury, Canadian network CTV and Fox International as a producer on the Canadian procedural drama series The Listener for its 13-episode fifth season, which started production earlier this year. Under the agreement, ION becomes the exclusive U.S. television network for originals of fifth and future seasons of the series. ION has been carrying The Listener — in 2011, the network acquired the first two seasons of the drama, which was originally picked up by NBC for a summer 2009 run of Season 1, which was cut short after several episodes. After the show did well alongside CBS’ off-network procedurals, including Criminal Minds and Law & Order; Criminal Intent, I hear ION exercised its option to become a co-producer of original episodes. The network used a similar strategy for another popular Canadian procedural drama, Flashpoint, first inking a syndication deal with CBS for the show’s Season 1-4 episodes that had aired on CBS (plus 11 that hadn’t aired) before becoming Flashpoint‘s exclusive US network for Season 5. Read More »
Netflix Execs Headed Back To France For More Expansion Talks
Last week, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company was eyeing “substantial” European expansion in 2014. His comments came a little more than a month after execs from the streaming service met with staff of French President François Hollande to discuss an entry into France. According to local media reports, Netflix execs now are due to return to France to meet with industry folk within the next week. Pascal Rogard, head of authors’ rights group the SACD, told Le Figaro that the situation is coming into focus with a possible launch later this year. Netflix is available in 41 countries including France’s neighbors to the north such as the UK, the Netherlands and the Nordic region. A French launch has been rumored over the years, but moving into the fiercely protected territory is ornery in part due to a complex film-windows chronology that prohibits movies from appearing on monthly SVOD services until three years after a theatrical release. There is no such protection for TV series, but Netflix’s House Of Cards already airs on local pay-TV leader Canal Plus, which would see the service’s arrival as competition. In a conversation with analysts, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos was asked last week whether the service would be out of certain markets with its key originals because it had already sold them to local providers. “It depends,” he said. “There’s multiple windows, and we’ll continue to have those negotiations as we get closer to those launches.” It’s expected that should Netflix enter France, it would have to adhere to obligations to invest in local content. Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti told Le Journal du Dimanche this weekend, “Netflix should be an additional player, not a stowaway.” It’s also believed that Netflix is eyeing a move into Germany. With regard to expansion, MoffettNathanson Research’s Michael Nathanson said last week that “it remains difficult to figure out the ultimate size and value of Netflix’s international opportunity” due to the company’s “undisclosed new market entries, minimal transparency and continual reinvestment.” Read More »
Under the first-look development and distribution deal, Shine International will represent tape and format rights for new television output from 44 Blue Productions. The pact was brokered by Rasha Drachkovitch, President of 44 Blue, Stephanie Drachkovitch, EVP and Co-Owner of 44 Blue, and Tania Jacobson, SVP Sales and Acquisitions, Americas. Deal takes effect immediately. 44 Blue’s slate includes Wahlburgers on A&E, Lockup franchise reality series on MSNBC, Pit Bulls & Parolees (Animal Planet), Split Ends (Style) and Married To The Army: Alaska. Shine International’s third-party titles include 24 Hours In A&E , Anything Goes, Killers Behind Bars, Hoarding: Buried Alive and The School. Scripted includes Archer, In The Flesh, Real Humans and The Listener.
EXCLUSIVE: In show business, many start as agents before segueing to a career in the executive ranks. J.C. Mills is taking the opposite route, joining ICM Partners‘ International Television and Media Department in New York today. He is expected to be focused on non-scripted but also cover other aspects of the international TV marketplace. Mills comes from National Geographic Channel where he spent the past two years as a development executive, shepherding unscripted pilots, specials and series and working with oversees producers on international formats. Before joining Nat Geo in January 2012, Mills was VP Acquisitions & Business Development, North America for Zodiak Rights and prior to that was a sales executive at Shine International in the UK. In the agenting ranks, Mills joins his wife, Ashley Davis Mills, who is a New York-based TV agent at rival CAA. Here’s the official release announcing his hire that ICM Partners just sent out: Read More »
PBS has announced the premiere date of the Britcom Vicious, starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a gay couple who have been together nearly half a century. The six-part series, which PBS acquired from Shine International in October, will air on Sundays and premiere July 6 at 10:30 PM. Meanwhile, Jacobi’s drama Last Tango In Halifax has been ordered for a second season, returning June 29, PBS chief Paula Kerger announced this morning at TCA. Also unveiled: Ken Burns is working on a a documentary series about country music — though it won’t air until 2018, Kerger said this morning. Country Music will follow its evolution of over the course of the 20th century as it “eventually emerged to become America’s music,” PBS claimed in its announcement.
And, PBS will never, ever air Downton Abbey seasons closer to its UK run, Kerger indicated — hopefully putting a stake in that debate for press tours ever after. Kerger cited this month’s Season 4 debut audience – 10.2 million viewers, which was a 22% jump compared to the Season 3 opener (7.9 million), which itself had been a leap from the series Season 2 launch crowd of 4.2 mil. Downton is PBS’ highest rated drama ever. ”It’s become a bit of tradition after the holidays to come together to watch Downton,” Kerger said happily. “The audience build over the years…argues to keep the January time frame,” she said. And, of course, a fall launch coinciding with the UK’s Downton season would put it in the teeth of the commercial broadcast network’s fall-season rollout, which, she noted, TV critics in the room had criticized PBS for doing in the past. Not to mention that the series’ UK broadcaster determines its debut date not terribly long before it actually happens — no weeks and weeks of promotions, as is the norm in the U.S. PBS cannot upstage the show in the UK. Read More »
Ecosse Films Inks First-Look Deal With Shine International
The UK’s Ecosse Films has pacted with Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine International in a three-year, first-look deal that will see the latter handle the producer’s TV sales and distribution. Ecosse’s TV credits include three seasons of Mistresses for BBC One (the U.S. remake was recently renewed for a second season by ABC); Life Of Crime for ITV and biopic Fleming for Sky Atlantic HD. Ecosse also has feature credits that include Diana, Becoming Jane and Nowhere Boy. Shine will rep finished tape and format rights for Ecosse Films’ new television output from January 1 onward.
Katherine Butler Leaving Film4 For UK Producer Raw
Film4 Deputy Head of Film Katherine Butler is leaving to join UK producer Raw. She will head up the film and TV drama division. Traditionally a factual producer, Raw launched a film and drama wing in 2012. Its series include Gold Rush for the Discovery Channel, Locked Up Abroad for National Geographic, and Paranormal Witness for Syfy. On the drama side, Raw has five projects in development with Film4, including Bart Layton’s American Animals. While at Film4, Butler executive produced numerous titles including Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur, Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio, and Clio Bernard’s BAFTA-nominated The Selfish Giant. Raw and Film4 maintain strong ties. Read More »
BSkyB Opens Its Sky Store Rentals To All Broadband Users
BSkyB set a challenge today to streaming providers in the UK such as Netflix and LoveFilm by announcing it has opened its Sky Store movie rental service to anyone with a broadband connection. The service does not require a Sky subscription, meaning all users in the UK and the Republic of Ireland will have access. Sky, which is controlled by 21st Century Fox, says new films including Man Of Steel and Despicable Me 2 are available from today with other fresh titles available at the same time as they drop on DVD. Those will rent for £3.49 ($5.70) each. Library titles will go for 99p-£1.99. There are already about 1,200 movies online which can be streamed through SkyStore.com, or via NOW TV, Roku and YouView. Sky’s had success with renting movies to its existing customers with 2.1 million rentals in the third quarter.
Report: Netflix Mulls Expansion Into France
Netflix has been a long time coming to France, Europe’s third-largest market, but is the tide about to turn? According to Reuters, executives from Netflix met with the staff of French President François Hollande this week to discuss the move. Netflix is available in 41 countries including France’s neighbors to the north such as the UK, the Netherlands and the Nordic region. A French launch has been rumored over the years, but moving into the fiercely protected territory is ornery for the streaming service given a complex film-windows chronology. There is no such protection for TV series, but many U.S. shows air as much as a year later than they do in the U.S. on traditional networks like TF1. TF1 has a VOD service that offers first-run U.S. series on a one-day delay and pay-TV leader Canal Plus airs first-run series within a few days; it even launched a new channel this year on which to showcase them. But movies are hampered by rules that prohibit films from appearing on monthly SVOD services until three years after a theatrical release. Rentals via a set-top box are permissible four months after theatrical. The windows issue has long been a thorny one in France, with industry opinions divided, but discussions are ongoing. A Hollande rep told Reuters, “Netflix wanted information about the legal conditions that would affect its potential arrival in France.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Shine International has closed a deal with PBS on Will & Grace exec producer Gary Janetti’s British sitcom Vicious. The public broadcaster will air Vicious in the U.S. next year. The initial six-part series premiered on ITV in April and at the time was the highest-rated comedy launch on any UK channel in 2013. It went on to hold an average of about 3.4M viewers. Veteran British thesps Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi play a constantly bickering couple who’ve lived together in a small Covent Garden flat for nearly 50 years. But underneath all their vicious co-dependent fighting, they deeply love each other. Harry Potter‘s Frances de la Tour and Game Of Thrones‘ Iwan Rheon also star. The show was given a second-season order by ITV in August and Shine America has been exploring a U.S. version. Vicious is a Brown Eyed Boy production in association with Shine’s Kudos and Nickelby Inc. The deal was brokered by Matt Vassallo, Bill Gardner, and Jack Dougherty on behalf of PBS.
Fox has given an eight-episode order to Slide Show, an unscripted comedy from Shine America and Steve Carell. It is based on international format Anything Goes, originally created by Arthur Essebag for French-based production company Satisfaction, The Television Agency. Slide Show pits two teams — featuring the nation’s funniest celebrities and comedians — against each other in a series of showdowns designed to hilariously test mind and body. Throughout the game, the competitors must think on their feet as the teams face unpredictable song, dance and sketch challenges, often while navigating the show’s trademark one-of-a-kind set, tilted at a 22.5 degree angle. “I think unscripted television should be outrageous and audacious by definition. Unfortunately, not much is, as of late,” said Reilly. “Slide Show is the most ridiculously fun and out-there thing I’ve seen in quite awhile.” Added Carell, “Comedy is subjective, but if you don’t find Slide Show to be funny and enormously entertaining, then you will never be my friend.” Read More »
David Tennant, star of the Brit hit crime drama Broadchurch and one of the most beloved Doctor Who actors, has been cast in Fox‘s U.S. remake of Broadchurch. The U.S. version will star Tennant as an American detective who is the lead male investigator on the case of a shocking murder that puts a small town under scrutiny. This time it’s set in an American town, and, like the original, follows the tragic and mysterious death of a young boy found dead on an idyllic beach surrounded by rocks and a jutting cliff-face, from where he may have fallen. Although his cause of death remains unsolved, the picturesque seaside town where the tragedy occurred is at the heart of a major police investigation and a nationwide media frenzy.
Dan Futterman (Capote, In Treatment, Foxcatcher) and Anya Epstein (In Treatment, Homicide) have signed on as executive producers and showrunners. The crime series is scheduled to begin filming in January for broadcast during the 2014-2015 season. Read More »