Late last year, Sony Pictures Television’s Gogglebox and Britain’s ITV got together to put a spin on the game show format by mixing in elements of horror and unleashing Release The Hounds. Now comes a new twist in a similar vein from BBC Three and Ripper Street producers Tiger Aspect. BBC Three has commissioned I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse, a seven-part hourlong horror/game show that will trap eight contestants inside a shopping mall, surrounded by the walking dead. The contestants must live by their wits, make difficult decisions, and use urban survival tactics to avoid the lethal bite of a zombie. “The Army” is on its way, but the threat will be constant as once a player is bitten, they will leave the show in “grisly style.” Network Controller Zai Bennett calls it, “a reality event on a huge scale.” Entertainment Commissioner Ruby Kuraishe adds, “This is a tongue-in-cheek game show that will really test one’s mettle. I think people will die to be a part of it.” Executive producers for Tiger Aspect are Andrew Brereton and Sebastian Grant. Brereton quipped, “It’s nice to finally have a game show where if you get a challenge wrong, you get your arms ripped off and your brains eaten out.” Release The Hounds, which pitted contestants against a pack of cash-guarding canines in a dark forest, was a social media success when its first one-off hour ran …
Global Showbiz Briefs: Denise O’Donoghue Exiting ITV Studios; BBC Three’s Zai Bennett Joining Sky Atlantic
Denise O’Donoghue Exiting As ITV Studios Managing Director
Denise O’Donoghue, a veteran television exec and four-year Managing Director of ITV Studios, is leaving the UK-based producer. She will exit at the end of the year with a successor yet to be named, though she will remain a member of the board. ITV Studios is the largest commercial production company in the UK, with titles including Mr Selfridge, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Breathless and the upcoming Thunderbirds Are Go! The production arm of ITV is one of the biggest growth areas for the group, which has been busy making acquisitions in the UK and U.S. “A key part of our strategy is to build a strong international content business, creating more of our own programs which are successful here in the UK and internationally,” ITV Studios Managing Director Kevin Lygo said. “Denise has played a crucial role in rebuilding the UK production business by bringing in and managing brilliant creative talent, which in turn has resulted in the development of a strong and healthy content pipeline.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The End’ Gets German Remake; Turkish Censors Ban ‘Nymphomaniac’; Berlin Fest Dates; BBC3 Moving To Web?; Oz’s Animal Logic; More
Eccho Rights has sold popular Turkish drama The End into further markets. It’s already being remade in the U.S. by Sander/Moses Prods at Fox, and now Germany’s UFA will develop a local version for broadcaster SAT1 while Shine France has also taken an option on the series. Further, Netflix has signed a non-exclusive agreement for the original in Sweden and the UK. The story is about a woman navigating a web of lies and intrigue as she searches for her husband whom she presumed dead following a plane crash. But it turns out he never boarded the plane. Produced by Ay Yapim in Turkey, the show is also getting a Russian version.
BBC Three has ordered a docu on the Amanda Knox case update from NBC News’ Peacock Productions — Peacock Prods’ first UK commission out of its new London office. Peacock predicts its one-hour special, Is Amanda Knox Guilty? will be the first TV docu on the case since an Italian judge announced the second guilty verdict on January 30 — it’s scheduled to air on BBC Three on Monday, February 17.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Matthew Lewis Joins ‘Bluestone 42′ Cast; ‘Next Top Model’ Done On Sky Living; More
Matthew Lewis Joins ‘Bluestone 42′; ‘Peaky Blinders’ Renewed
Matthew Lewis, best known for playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies, has joined the cast of Bluestone 42, the BBC Three comedy/drama about a fictional bomb-disposal detachment in Afghanistan. Lewis will play an ammunition technician from Leeds with a penchant for danger. The second season of Bluestone 42 starts filming later this month and returns to BBC Three with a Christmas special, followed by a six-part series in early 2014. In other BBC News, BBC One has ordered a second season of Atlantis, the fantasy adventure series that has been the biggest new Saturday night drama series launch across all channels since 2006. The 13-part series is co-produced by BBC America and is set in the mythical city of Atlantis where it re-imagines Greek myths and legends for a new generation. It was created by Merlin writer Howard Overman. Also, BBC Two has recommissioned Cillian Murphy starrer Peaky Blinders. The period gangster drama hails from Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions. It has had an average 2.4M viewers across Season 1 and will return in 2014 with six new episodes. Peaky Blinders is created by Steven Knight and also stars Sam Neill and Helen McCrory.
‘Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model’ Off The Sky Living Runway
The CW last week officially said it had ordered a 21st cycle of America’s Next Top Model. But the British version of the competition series will not be returning to Sky Living in the UK. Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model concluded its ninth cycle earlier this year. Sky said today: “After nearly a decade on air, BINTM won’t be returning to Sky Living next year. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the talent who have been involved in the series, with particular thanks to Thumbs Up Productions, exec producer and host Elle Macpherson and this final season’s judges Dannii Minogue and Tyson Beckford.” Sky Living is not without a model competition show, however. It’s airing the British version of The Face, co-produced by Princess Productions and Shine TV.