MIPTV: ‘Rising Star’ Rollout Begins; Will It Cement Position As The Next Big Thing?

mip tv logo 2Much as it did with October’s Mipcom, Israel’s Keshet International dominated the just-wrapped Mip-TV market. The savvy folks behind Rising Star energized the Croisette this week with ticking time bomb format Boom!, which closed at least a deal a day including in the U.S., France, Spain, Belgium and Hungary. And, interactive singing competition Rising Star, which had already locked down more than 25 territories since last October, is still selling. But save for Brazil, which on Sunday became the first territory outside Israel to debut a local version of Rising Star, the shows have yet to be tested abroad and Mip was abuzz with anticipation, mixed with some skepticism, about the ultimate results. Underscoring that, Brazil, which scored strong numbers, had a technical glitch that meant some home keshetviewers had trouble entering their votes. I understand this was not the same sort of situation suffered by NBC’s Million Second Quiz last year when its app crashed during the premiere. In the case of Rising Star, I’m told there was no loss of connectivity and the live show was not affected. But, it’s a fair bet that other networks who have acquired the format are keeping a keen eye on the international rollout. Portugal is next to bow in May, and ABC debuts the format in June; it’s playing close to the vest with details.

boom!In Cannes this week, execs up and down the Croisette praised the folks at Keshet International for their marketing acumen, enthusiasm and ability to generate creative formats. The company is often credited with putting Israel on the TV map thanks, most notably, to scripted drama Prisoners Of War, aka Homeland. The deal success of Rising Star, and now Boom!, had more than one observer marveling this week that Keshet has taught “a masterclass in marketing.” A key element of that masterclass includes bringing both formats to the Riviera sales shows hot on the heels of their respectively record-breaking debuts in Israel on Keshet Channel 2. Each format’s gimmick has also been highly touted. Rising Star‘s interactive app, incubated in Tel Aviv’s cutting-edge start-up community, lets viewers control the show’s outcome. Boom! is more of a straightforward quiz show. But the concept of contestants defusing (fake) bombs onstage, while shocking some, has made buyers sit up and take notice. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Endemol Buys Rights To Relationship Format ‘The Extra Mile’; U.K.’s Watch Picks Up ‘Crisis’

Endemol Buys Rights To Relationship Format ‘The Extra Mile’
Endemol has picked up multiple-territory rights at Mip-TV to the Israeli format The Extra Mile from Studio Glam. The show sees divorced couples that can barely speak to each other brought together in an exotic location. The Extra MileThere they must learn to co-habit and put their deeply rooted issues aside, working together to take on extreme challenges for the one thing they still agree on – the love of their kids. The prize for the winning couple is a trust fund for their children, which can only be enjoyed when they turn 18. Studio Glam has sold the rights to produce the format in key European territories including UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey and across Scandinavia. A 24-episode primetime series, filmed on location in the Philippines, will broadcast twice a week on Israel Channel 10. Watch a promo for the show here.

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MacKenzie Porter Joins AMC’s ‘Hell On Wheels’; Salli Richardson-Whitfield In BET’s ‘Being Mary Jane’

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 4:01pm PDT

Canadian country music singermackenzieporter1 and actress MacKenzie Porter has been cast as a series regular in AMCs Western drama series Hell On Wheels, from Entertainment One, Endemol USA and Nomadic Pictures. Porter, repped by Red Management in Canada and KLWGN Entertainment, will play Naomi, Cullen Bohannon’s (Anson Mount) wife and mother of his child who is torn between the restrictive Mormon way of life (all she’s ever known), and the exotic adventure promised by life with her gentile husband outside the Mormon fort. Principal photography on the series’ fourth season begins later this month in Calgary. Porter was last seen in the features Tom, Dick & Harriet and Killer Among Us.
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MIPTV Briefs: Baltasar Kormakur To Direct & Produce Icelandic Series ‘Trapped’; ‘Boom!’ Goes To Spain; Japan’s Wowow Boards Scorsese Doc; More

mip tv logo 2Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur, who segues between Hollywood and home-based projects, is set to direct and produce serialized crime series Trapped in his native country. From Kormakur’s RVK Studios, it’s based on his original idea and written by Sigurjon Kjartansson and Clive Bradley. Trapped follows the investigation of the grisly murder of an unidentifiable man found in the water after an international ferry arrives in a small town at the bottom of a fjord. Soon after, a Baltasar-Kormákurpowerful blizzard hits the town with deadly force, making the only road in or out impassable. The 10-part series, the most ambitious Icelandic commission ever ordered, will air locally on public broadcaster RUV. RVK’s Magnus Vidar Sigurdsson is also producing and RVX, the effects arm of RVK, will design the VFX. Dynamic Television’s Daniel March and Klaus Zimmermann are executive producers and are handling worldwide distribution. Kormakur, whose The Deep was shortlisted for the Foreign Language Oscar in 2012, is currently directing Everest for Universal, Cross Creek Pictures and Working Title Films. Read More »

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NatGeo Channel To Telecast World Free-Diving Record Attempt

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 10:12am PDT

Days after Discovery Communications announced Nik Wallenda would take next take his high-wire act to Chicago to walk between two natgeochanneltall buildings, rival NatGeo said the holder of 15 free-diving world records will attempt to swim to a depth of 350 feet — deeper than the height of the State of Liberty — setting a new world record. On a single breath and with only his hands and feet to propel him, William Trubridge, 33, will attempt his dive into the abyss at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas.

Discovery has found ratings success with white-knuckle stunts. Wallenda’s walk across the Grand Canyon area of Arizona last year attracted more than 10 million live viewers. At its upfront pageant last week, Discovery did not set a date for Wallenda’s Chicago encore, except to say it probably will take place in November. The network also recently  announced that it will telecast California mountain climber Joby Ogwyn’s attempt to jump off the top of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, in a specially constructed wing suit. Read More »

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Endemol Israel & Endemol North America Pact On Scripted TV; Gal Zaid Named Director Of Comedy & Drama

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT

endemol__130429220403Independent TV and digital production company Endemol has tapped Gal Zaid as Director of Comedy and Drama of Endemol Israel as the division teams with Endemol North America to develop new original scripted TV, with an eye toward potential U.S. adaptations. Zaid (Prisoners Of War, Hostages) previously served as Director of Drama at Channel 10 and Keshet. He’ll oversee all scripted content for Endemol Israel, facilitate its partnership with Endemol’s LA branch, and work in tandem with Endemol U.S. Said CEO of Endemol Israel Elad Kuperman: “Gal is responsible for some of the most successful and exciting scripted series to come out of Israel and we are thrilled to have him join us in this key role.” Last week Endemol struck a first-look deal with London-based Origin Pictures and acquired UK production shingle Artists Studio as part of its drive for more original scripted TV. Upcoming Endemol Israel series include crowdfunding show Fundastic.

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Banijay Group Launches Banijay Studios North America With David Goldberg As CEO

By | Saturday April 5, 2014 @ 8:38am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

goldbergdavidIn 2000, David Goldberg was hired by Endemol founder John De Mol to launch Endemol USA. He did and led Endemol’s North America operations as chairman-CEO for more than 13 years, until departing last December. Now Goldberg has been asked to do the same for another overseas heavyweight, Banijay Group, which is partnering with Golbanijaydberg to launch Banijay Studios North America. Goldberg will serve as CEO of Los Angeles-based Banijay Studios North America as well as Banijay Group President, overseeing the Group’s further expansion into English language territories and Latin America. He will be based in Los Angeles and will report to Marco Bassetti, CEO, Banijay Group. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Lambert Wilson Set As Master Of Ceremonies At Cannes Film Festival; Emily Dalton Upped At DSP

Lambert Wilson Set As Master Of Ceremonies At Cannes
Lambert WilsonFrench actor Lambert Wilson has been tapped to launch the 67th Cannes Film Festival on May 14. He also will welcome the president Jane Campion and her jury to the stage at the Palais des Festivals and host the prize ceremony on May 24. The versatile actor’s credits range Cannesfrom humour to thrillers and from art house to romcoms, and he has worked with such French film greats as André Téchiné, Benoît Jacquot, Bertrand Tavernier and Alain Resnais. Wilson made his first appearance in Cannes in 1985, with Téchiné’s Rendez-vous and has returned several times both as an actor and as president of the Un Certain Regard jury in 1999.

Darlow Smithson Productions Taps Emily Dalton As Managing Director
Endemol UK said Friday that Emily Dalton has been appointed Managing Director of factual producer DSP. Ben Bowie is stepping down from the post to pursue a new venture. Dalton also will continue her role as Creative Director. She joined DSP in January 2011 as Head of Development, stepping up to become Deputy Creative Director later that year before being appointed Creative Director in May 2013.  Before DSP, she was Head of Development at factual indie Windfall Films and previously worked at Twenty Twenty and ITN Factual.

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ABC Tweaks Summer Schedule, Slots ‘Sing Your Face Off’ On Saturday

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 12:02pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

rookie-blue-abcFollowing the decision to push limited drama series Astronaut Wives Club to midseason, ABC is reshuffling its summer schedule, which was to feature AWC in the Thursday 9 PM slot starting July 24. Rookie Blue, originally slated to premiere on July 17 and air in the Thursday 10 PM slot, paired with AWC, will now slide to 9 PM and start its season a month earlier, on June 19. (Despite the early start, ABC does not plan to expand the cop drama’s fifth season beyond the previously agreed upon 11 episodes of the 22 produced.) New alternative series The Quest will keep its Thursday 8 PM slot but its premiere is being pushed back by two weeks, from July 19 to July 31, with Wife Swap airing in the 8 PM hour on July 19 and 26. There is no replacement yet for Rookie Blue in the Thursday 10 PM slot in late summer. Read More »

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MIPTV: Endemol In First-Look Deal With Drama Producer Origin Pictures

endemol1Endemol Worldwide Distribution has pacted with London-based Origin Pictures, makers of recent BBC mini Death Comes To Pemberley, in an exclusive three-year first-look deal. The partners will jointly develop and finance a new slate of drama series for the UK and international markets, marking a further push by Endemol into scripted projects. Endemol will provide development funding and will handle international origin picturesrights. The pair previously worked together on Death Comes to Pemberley, which launched at Mipcom last October. Origin Pictures, founded in 2008 by former BBC Films exec David Thompson, works across television and features. Its TV credits include BAFTA nominated mini The Crimson Petal And The White and the upcoming BBC One mini Jamaica Inn starring Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay. On the feature side, Origin has produced 2011 horror pic The Awakening and last year’s Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

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Global Showbiz Watch 32: The Russian Movie Cap Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch podcast 32In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom look at whether Russia is likely to go ahead with a threatened cap on Western films in the wake of the Crimea crisis, two more deals affecting indie TV producers, update from Johnny Depp’s China tour into Transcendence, and mark the naming of another female filmmaker as a jury president at the Cannes Film Festival.

We’ll also take our weekly look at the international box office, led by the all-time box office record set by Frozen, whether The Lego Movie can ever catch up and big international debuts for the sequels to Captain America and Rio. Read More »

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Lionsgate TV Inks Overall Deal With Reality Producer Dave Caplan

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 9:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

davecaplanUnder the multiyear overall pact, Dave Caplan will develop and produce unscripted programming through his Trooper Entertainment banner. Caplan joins Lionsgate TV from 51 Minds Entertainment, where he spent two years as VP Development and executive produced such series as Syfy’s Heroes Of Cosplay, MTV’s Scrubbing In, Syfy’s Ghost Mine and truTV’s Cash Dome. “Continued growth in the area of alternative programming is a high priority for our TV division and we are always looking for terrific partners,” said Lionsgate TV Group chairman Kevin Beggs. “Dave is an extremely creative producer and we anticipate a great collaboration.” Caplan’s move to Lionsgate comes on the heels of an executive restructuring at 51 Minds following the company CEO Cris Abrego’s appointment as co-chairman and co-CEO of parent Endemol North America that saw Christian Sarabia elevated to president of 51 Minds. Read More »

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Endemol Acquires UK-Based ‘The Fall’ Producer Artists Studio

endemol__130429220403Endemol is expanding its scripted programming business with the acquisition of Wales-based drama production house Artists Studio. The company makes such series as Gillian Anderson-starrer The Fall for BBC Two, the channel’s most successful drama ever with more than 4M viewers per episode during the first season run. Under the deal, Endemol will distribute Artists Studio product including the 2nd season of The Fall which goes into production this year; as well as other projects in development for UK and U.S. broadcasters. Previous Artists Studio credits include Combat the fallHospital for ABC and Thorne for Sky UK. Gub Neal (Prime Suspect, Queer As Folk) co-founded Artists Studio in 2009 with former Box TV colleagues Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin. Artists Studio will come under the Endemol UK banner. The acquisition also includes Far Moor Media, an executive producer packaging service for international drama producers whose credits include the currently filming Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for BBC One and BBC America. Endemol has grown its scripted business by 75% in the last five years, and this deal is part of the increasing trend towards consolidation in the indie production sector. Over the past 18 months, there has been a raft of acquisitions by the likes of ITV, Red Arrow and the U.S. studios including Warner Bros and Sony.

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AMC Greenlights First Comedy Pilot, Sets Projects From Chris Carter, Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg And Kevin Smith, Adds Dave Erickson To ‘The Walking Dead’ Spinoff

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 1:58pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

amclogo4As part of its upfront, AMC as usual is making a slew of programming announcements. They include an increased focus on comedy development, including a first pilot green light to a half-hour project, We Hate Paul Revere, written, executive produced and starring Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner, and several comedy projects in development including one from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This is the End) and half-hours toplined/written by John Leguizamo and Wyatt Cenac. On the drama side, AMC’s development slate includes projects from Chris Carter, Amy Lippman and Josh Applebaum, André Nemec, Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner and producer Aaron Kaplan.

Related: AMC Sets Projects With John Leguizamo & Wyatt Cenac As Part Of Push In Comedy

Kevin SmithAMC also announced the renewal of Kevin Smith’s unscripted series Comic Book Men for a fourth season.The network is expanding its relationship with Smith to include the development of a late-night project, Hollywood Babble-On, starring Smith and his co-host of their popular podcast, Ralph Garman, to be produced by Wilshire Studios and executive produced by Smith, Ralph Garman and Gary Auerbach. Additionally, AMC is also working with Smith on the development of a docu-series featuring super-collector and Comic Book Men regular Robert Bruce. Produced by Original Media and Smith’s Smodcast Pictures, and exec produced by Dan Laikind, Charlie Corwin, Elyse Seiden and Smith, Bruce and his fellow experts scour the country searching real estate sales, auction houses and flea markets on a quest to find rare items that will feed the needs of his demanding clients and add to Bruce’s own colossal collection.

AMC also has made an overall deal with Dave Erickson (Sons Of Anarchy), who will co-write, along with Robert Kirkman, and serve as an executive producer on the unnamed The Walking Dead companion series. “AMC is introducing more hours of original programming and the most robust, diverse development slate in our network’s history,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. Unwavering is our commitment to the eclectic, quality dramatic series that have come to define our brand and to the unconventional unscripted worlds we love to explore. And today we also happily dive head-first into our first-ever scripted comedy pilot.”  Here is AMC’s full slate, which includes drama, comedy and unscripted projects as well as two books optioned for series: Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Jesus Perezagua Exiting Fox International Channels; ‘Peaky Blinders’ Tops BAFTA TV Craft Award Noms; More

Jesus Perezagua Exiting Fox International Channels
Jesus of FoxFox 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 »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The Inbetweeners 2′ Gets UK-Ireland Release Date; Amma Asante Set For ‘Brits To Watch’ Screenings; More

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

‘The Inbetweeners 2′ Coming To The UK & Ireland On August 6
The Inbetweeners 2
Entertainment Film Distributors said Tuesday that The Inbetweeners 2 will hit theaters in the UK and Ireland on August 6. Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas are returning for the comedy sequel written and directed by Damon Beesley and Iain Morris — who created the series on which the films are based — and produced by Spencer Millman. The film, which sees the lads descend on Australia, also stars Emily Berrington, Freddie Stroma and David Field. The Inbetweeners Movie took in nearly £45 million at the UK box office in 2011.

Amma Asante Set For ‘Brits to Watch: The Screenings’ In U.S.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced Tuesday that it will profile director Amma Asante (A Way of Life, Belle) next month at the first of Amma Asantethis year’s “Brits to Watch: The Screenings,” a series of showcase events in New York and Los Angeles that introduce outstanding British film talent to the US film industry. On April 1 in New York and April 3 in Los Angeles, Asante will be introduced at a screening of her second feature film Belle, which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and opened this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival. Belle is inspired by the true story of a mixed-race girl raised … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Arrow Takes UK On ‘God’s Pocket’; Channel 4 Warms To ‘Fargo’; Noah Taylor, Charlotte Riley Join ‘Peaky Blinders’; Amy Poehler At Mip; More

gods pocketArrow Films has acquired UK rights to God’s Pocket starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Sold by Electric Entertainment, the film is the feature directorial debut of Mad Men’s John Slattery. Electric acquired it at Sundance. IFC has U.S. distribution and Arrow will release later this year in Britain. Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro and Caleb Landry Jones also star in the film written by Slattery and Alex Metcalf. Based on the Pete Dexter novel, the movie follows a man who tries to cover up the accidental death of his stepson in a blue collar neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Arrow’s recent titles include Love Is All You Need, The Hunt and A Hijacking. Read More »

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Joanna Going Joins DirecTV’s ‘Navy St’; Angelique Cabral Boards NBC’s ‘Two To Go’

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 2:22pm PST

going1Joanna Going (House Of Cards) has been tapped for a series regular role in DirecTV’s gritty drama series Navy St. From Byron Balasco and Endemol Studios, the dark family drama is set against the backdrop of Navy Street, a Venice, CA-based mixed martial arts gym owned by Alvey Henderson (Frank Grillo), a former fighter who never made it big due to a drug addiction but is now sober. Going will play Christina Hyatt, Alvey’s ex wife and mother to Jay (Jonathan Tucker) and Nate (Nick Jonas). Going, repped by AKA and Vanguard Management, co-stars in the upcoming Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.

Related: Primetime Pilot Panic!
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Global Showbiz Briefs: Gemma Arterton Treads Boards In ‘Made In Dagenham’; Dave Heuten Joins FremantleMedia’s Belgium Arm; More

Gemma Arterton Coming To West End With ‘Made In Dagenham’
Gemma ArtertonFormer Bond girl Gemma Arterton is set to star in a West End musical version of 2010 film Made In Dagenham. She’ll play Rita O’Grady, a role originated by Sally Hawkins in the Nigel Cole-directed movie. The show is a musical comedy about women who battled for equal rights at a Ford factory in Essex, England, in 1968. The BBC reports that Richard Bean, who wrote One Man, Two Guvnors, is penning the script for the show, which opens November 5 at the Adelphi Theater. Rupert Goold (Enron, American Psycho) is directing. Arterton recently starred onstage in The Duchess Of Malfi. Read More »

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