In one of two recent format disputes, the Banijay Group has won a ruling to stop broadcaster SBS and The Voice creator Talpa Media from using the title The Next Popstar for an upcoming Dutch talent show. Banijay objected to the name, saying it too closely resembled its own format, Popstars. That show, which has spawned versions in more than 50 countries, ran for three years on SBS’ SBS6, the same channel that The Next Popstar was targeting in the Netherlands. In its decision, the District Court of The Hague prohibited Talpa and SBS from using the name going forward based on an article of the Paris Convention relating to well-known trademarks. Banijay recently acquired a majority stake in Australian production company Screentime, which in 1999 created the Popstars format that served as a precursor to the Idol series of singing competition shows. READ MORE »
BBC Comedies Vie For Commissions At Salford Sitcom Showcase
The BBC is taking a shot at remaking It Takes A Village, the 2010 ABC pilot by Casey Johnson & David Windsor that starred Leah Remini. Whether the UK version actually goes forward, however, will be in the hands of a live studio audience next month. For the second year in a row, the BBC is testing a crop of potential shows in front of a live audience at the Salford Sitcom Showcase, a three-day event during which six comedy pilots are performed onstage to a packed house as execs take notes. The first edition spawned commissions for family sitcoms Citizen Khan, which BBC One just picked up for a second season, and Hebburn which debuted on BBC Two this month. On deck at this year’s showcase with It Takes A Village are the battling-neighbors show 1987, from Sherlock producers Beryl and Sue Vertue; Just Us, about a couple forced to downsize from London that’s exec produced by Don Taffner for DLT Entertainment and stars Downton Abbey‘s Samantha Bond; The Gatekeeper, from exec producers Gareth Edwards and Saurabh Kakkar about a 40-ish man who works the nightshift as a security guard; the Pete Thornton exec produced Chain Gang about life in a Bristol coffee bar and family show Homeboys from exec producer Mario Stylianides for Lucky Giant. This year, the Salford Showcase runs from Nov 21-23.
Seven Network Unveils New And Returning Lineup
Australian Seven Network has commissioned Eyeworks to produce a local version of Celebrity Splash, a Dutch format that U.S. network ABC also has embraced, and it will co-produce The Mole-Culture Clash with FremantleMedia Australia. These were among the new shows for 2013 unveiled by Seven, the top-rated prime-time network for the past six years, on Tuesday night. Debutantes include A Place to Call Home, an Australian drama series about a woman whose privileged family is rocked by scandal, set in a rural town in the 1950s, created by Bevan Lee (who created Seven’s hit Packed to the Rafters); and Mrs. Biggs, a British drama series starring Sheridan Smith as the woman who married notorious train robber Ronnie Biggs, a co-production between ITV Studios, Seven and December Films. Among the fresh U.S. series will be Last Resort, Red Widow and Zero Hour. Returning shows include Revenge, Downton Abbey, The X-Factor, Dancing with the Stars and Australia’s Got Talent.