‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Gossip Girl’, ‘ER’ Getting Local Versions In Asia
Warner Bros Television Group series Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl and ER have been commissioned and optioned as local versions in the Philippines, Thailand and India, respectively. In the Philippines, ABC Development Corporation is in production on Pretty Little Liars with the 22-episode adaptation to air on TV5 in April. The show ranks as the No. 1 original series of all time on ABC Family, where its 5th season will air this summer. In Thailand, Kantana Public Company Limited is producing an 18-episode local adaptation of Gossip Girl. In India, ER is under option with Gold Television Network. This follows the announcement last month that a Colombian version of the show was going forward.
Global Showbiz Briefs: 3 Warner Bros TV Series Headed To Asia; Italian Exhibitors Blast TV Airing Of ‘The Great Beauty’; More
‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Gossip Girl’, ‘ER’ Getting Local Versions In Asia
BBC America has given the green light to vehicle transformation series Mud, Sweat & Gears. The eight-episode series, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions for BBC America and BBC Worldwide’s new Brit channel, will be hosted by Tom ‘Wookie’ Ford and Jonny Smith — two UK car journalists. Each week, the pair will work as rival captains for two teams of car enthusiasts. They will have 24 hours to reconstruct ordinary vehicles and complete competitive stunt challenges. Perry Simon, General Manager of BBC America, called it a perfect fit for the network’s Top Gear driven Monday lineup. Top Gear, in its 21st season, is on target for its highest rated season yet in the U.S. Production begins shooting next month in California. Mud, Sweat & Gears also will launch across the BBC’s international channels and is the first original commission to be announced for BBC Brit – the new male-skewing factual entertainment channel due to launch in several worldwide markets outside of the U.S. in 2014. In the U.S., the series joins BBC America’s slate of new unscripted programming including Top Gear, Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan, and its new BBC Earth block of natural history programs, The Graham Norton Show and upcoming original series Million Dollar Critic Starring Giles Coren.
Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC Worldwide’s ‘Musketeers’ Sold To Multiple Territories; Sky Developing ‘Diabolik’ Series; More
BBC Worldwide Sells Drama ‘The Musketeers’ To Multiple Territories
BBC Worldwide is gearing up for its annual showcase in Liverpool next week and ahead of it has announced sales of 10-part drama series The Musketeers. Set on the streets of 17th century Paris, the series is made by BBC Drama Productions and co-produced by BBC Worldwide and BBC America. The new take on the classic characters created by Alexandre Dumas stars Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles, Alexandra Dowling and Maimie McCoy. Adrian Hodges is executive producer and lead writer. The series launched on BBC One in the UK in January and has been renewed for a second season. Sales deals have been concluded with Germany (ARD), Norway (NRK), Sweden (TV4), Ukraine (1+1), Greece (OTE) and Turkey (NTV).
Global Showbiz Briefs: New Vision For BBC Worldwide’s Future; UK Culture Secretary Meets With U.S. Execs; More
CEO Tim Davie Reveals Vision For Future Of BBC Worldwide
In an address to employees, BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie today unveiled a new vision to build the BBC’s brands, audiences and commercial returns around the globe. It includes a £200M investment in premium content, the launch of three new core consumer brands propositions – spanning the genres of premium factual, factual entertainment and drama — and a greater focus on digital innovation to extend the company’s reach and routes to market. “BBC Worldwide has a good track record of taking British content to the world, benefiting international audiences, license fee payers and the wider industry alike,” he said. “But the time has come for a step-change, reflecting the rapid development in our markets.”
UK Culture Secretary Spends The Week Meeting With U.S. Showbiz Execs
During a visit to the U.S. this week, UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller met with senior executives at Disney, Warner Bros and other showbiz companies to discuss collaboration and hear suggestions on how UK filming conditions could be made more attractive to American productions. She also sought reaction to the UK’s recent extension of tax credits and talked with HBO about its Game of Thrones production model and with Lucasfilm about its plan to shoot the new Star Wars film in the UK and whether there could be other ways to help support the local film industry.
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, is selling its Lonely Planet travel guide business at the knockdown price of £51.5M ($77M) after paying £130M to acquire it in an earlier two-stage deal. The company had been looking for a buyer for the past year before settling on Brad Kelley’s Nashville-based NC2 Media, a content creation, acquisition, and distribution company which is also engaged in developing new technologies. The sale price has been criticized by the BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, whose Diane Coyle said, “Given the significant financial loss to Worldwide… we have asked the BBC executive to commission a review of lessons learnt and report to the Trust with its findings.” According to The Guardian, Coyle allowed there had been a “credible rationale” for the original purchase, but said, “Worldwide would not make this sort of acquisition again.” BBCWW handles about 50,000 hours of BBC and independently-produced content including such series as Doctor Who, Top Gear and Teletubbies. Interim BBCWW CEO, Paul Dempsey, said, “We acquired Lonely Planet in 2007 when both our strategy and the market conditions were quite different.” Despite Lonely Planet’s growth, Dempsey allowed, “We have also recognized that it no longer fits with our plans to put BBC brands at the heart of our business.”
‘Dancing With The Stars’ Gets Regional Indian Version
BBC Worldwide and ETV Bangla will produce a regional version of Dancing With The Stars in India. Produced by BBC Worldwide Productions India, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Bangla will air on ETV Bangla next month. Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa is already a hit throughout India and the new local version for West Bengal is a first in the country. The show will be extensively remodeled from the international version to appeal to Bengali viewers and will be hosted by local actor Jishu Sengupta. The Hindi language Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions India for Colors, completed its fifth season with an audience of over 100M.
BBC Worldwide president and managing director of sales and distribution, Steve Macallister, will exit the commercial arm of the pubcaster on March 31. The move comes as BBCWW is shifting the management of sales and distribution to the …
Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC Worldwide, ‘The Devil’s Playground’, Ovation Acquires ‘Scapegoat’, ‘Life Of Pi’ To Open Dubai
BBC Worldwide Appoints Interim CEO
As the BBC regroups amid its ongoing crises, a game of management musical chairs is playing out. Paul Dempsey will take over as interim CEO of BBC Worldwide beginning next month. Dempsey, who is currently managing director for consumer products at BBCW, will oversee the division until Tim Davie takes over as CEO in March. Davie became interim director general of the BBC when George Entwistle resigned earlier this month, but had previously been named to follow outgoing BBCW CEO John Smith who leaves in December. Tony Hall is to become the official BBC director general in March. Dempsey joined BBCW in 1998 as UK sales director and has since held posts that include managing director of BBC Audiobooks and director of BBCW’s audio & music business.
Irish Film Commission Exec Launches ArtCastle With Director Gary Shore
Jonathan Loughran, senior vice president of the Irish Film Board’s US outpost, is leaving to set up LA- and Dublin-based production company ArtCastle. Loughran, who opened the Irish Film Commission in LA in 2005, will partner with compatriot filmmaker Gary Shore. Shore has a three-picture deal with Universal and entered negotiations to direct Dracula Year Zero earlier this year. He and his short, Cup Of Tears, appeared on the Black List for Aspiring Filmmakers in 2010. Cup is being turned into a feature by Working Title. Loughran will produce Shore’s projects under the ArtCastle banner and continue to work with international filmmakers looking to shoot in Ireland.
‘Innocence Of Muslims’ Leads Saudis To Seek Global Internet Restrictions
Saudi Arabia has called on stricter policing of the internet in the wake of the Innocence Of Muslims video that sparked deadly violence in the Middle East last month. The kingdom’s government has told United Nations body the World Telecommunications Policy Forum that access to the video was an “obvious example” of the need for greater cooperation on restricting content, Britain’s Telegraph reports. The letter to the UN said, “There is a crying need for international collaboration to address ‘freedom of expression’ which clearly disregards public order… Any reasonable person would know that this film would foment violence and, indeed, many innocent persons have died and been injured with this film as a root cause.” YouTube parent Google restricted the video in certain countries but refused an overall ban. The producer of the anti-Islam video is currently in jail awaiting a hearing on possible probation violations.
The companies provide few details about the deal, including whether it’s exclusive to Netflix. It appears to be limited to library episodes of series including Torchwood, Spooks, Fawlty Towers, Miss Marple, and Inspector Linley. Netflix plans to launch its service in the UK and Ireland in early 2012. It previously announced licensing agreements with studios including MGM, Miramax, Lionsgate. Here’s the release about Netflix’s new agreement with the BBC:
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Dec. 20, 2011 – Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, today announced a new digital licensing agreement that will bring a broad range of great BBC series to Netflix members in the UK and Ireland.
Beginning early 2012, previous series of BBC shows such as “Torchwood” and “Spooks” will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly in the UK and Ireland streamed over the Internet to connected TVs, tablets, game consoles, computers and mobile phones.
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Netflix announced in October that it would launch its service in the UK and Ireland early in 2012.