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.
Britain’s Channel 4 is embellishing its strategy with a new purview to invest in international drama co-productions. The net, which already invests in original British drama as well as boundary-pushing factual entertainment, is joining the likes of …
Global Showbiz Briefs: Channel 4 Orders Comedy Pilot ‘Catastrophe’; Endemol Invests In Social Casino Gaming Firm; More
Channel 4 Orders Comedy Pilot From Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan
The UK’s Channel 4 has commissioned the pilot Catastrophe from Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. The pair will write and star in the single-camera comedy about an Irish woman and an American man who make a bloody mess as they struggle to fall in love in London. Catastrophe is an Avalon Production for Channel 4. Adam Tandy will serve as a non-writing producer with Avalon Television UK producing. Delaney won the award for “Funniest Person on Twitter” at the Comedy Central Comedy Awards. His television credits include Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, Fuel TV’s The Daily Habit, and the pilot Movie Nook for TBS. Delaney is repped by Kara Baker at Avalon Management, WME and CAA Touring.
Endemol Bets $13M On Social Casino Gaming Company Plumbee
Endemol said today that it has invested $13 million in social casino gaming company Plumbee. The digital start-up’s existing investor, Idinvest Partners, also participated in this round. The deal values the business at $40 million. Launched in 2011, Plumbee creates, operates and markets free-to-play online and mobile games on social networks. The two companies will create premium social casino games, exploiting Endemol’s global entertainment brands and building on Plumbee’s worldwide user base.
Danny Boyle is keeping busy in TV these days. In the U.S., he’s teamed with FX and his Slumdog Millionaire writer and producer Simon Beaufoy …
Global Showbiz Briefs: UK, Australia Set ‘Homeland’ Season Bows; Travel Channel Orders Jonathan Phang Series; More
UK, Australia Won’t Wait Long For Season 3 Of ‘Homeland’
The UK’s Channel 4 has set an October 6 start for Season 3 of Homeland. The show airs at 9 PM and will get to Britain one week after its U.S. debut on Showtime on September 29. Meanwhile, folks in Australia will get to stream the first episode online while it’s airing in the States. Oz newspaper The Age says that Network Ten is using the stunt to launch its new streaming platform, tenplay. Ten will stream the episode from 2.15 PM Sydney time on Monday, September 30, to any internet user in Australia. That’s 9:15 PM Sunday night in LA, so the show will be on a 15-minute delay. So far the experiment only covers the first episode with the broadcaster waiting to gauge response before making plans for further first-run streaming. The regular season is planned for 8:30 PM Mondays.
Travel Channel Orders ‘Jonathan Phang’s Gourmet Express’
Travel Channel has commissioned new six-part series, Jonathan Phang’s Gourmet Express. The cooking show will follow Phang as he journeys on some of the world’s most iconic trains, including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and the Eastern & Orient Express, for a series of culinary adventures. Each episode will feature stops along the route to explore different foods and cultures. The series premieres in February and rolls out on Food Network in various markets later in the year. Transparent Television produces.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Amelia Pulsford Joins Sharp UK; CNBC’s ‘The Edge’ Looks For Tech’s Next Big Thing; More
Amelia Pulsford Tapped As Director Of Content at Sharp UK
Amelia Pulsford has been named director of content for the newly formed London branch of Core Media‘s Sharp Entertainment. Reality producer Sharp, whose credits include Man V. Food, Extreme Couponing, Bad Ink and Doomsday Preppers, is launching Sharp UK to expand into the competitive European space. Pulsford previously worked for Sharp Entertainment in the U.S. as a producer on Fortune Diggers and Punkin Chunkin, among others. She has also been a producer on Bear Grylls: Escape From Hell and Car Vs. Wild for Discovery International. She will work closely with American Idol parent CORE Media’s UK-based international team.
CNBC’s ‘The Edge’ Focuses On Long-Term Tech Investments
CNBC is launching a new half-hour series looking at long-term investment opportunities created by today’s technological innovations. The Edge will be fronted by network reporters including Ross Westgate, Martin Song, Karen Tso and Carolin Roth, who will travel to various locales to find “the next big thing”. The monthly show debuts September 25 across CNBC in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the U.S. It will be produced and edited from CNBC’s London regional HQ and be complemented by special reports on CNBC.com.
Iran Reopens Its Film Industry Body After 20 Months
Iran has reopened the House of Cinema, its main film industry guild. The move comes nearly two years after it was closed, the BBC reported, citing state news agency Irna. Per the report, Deputy Culture Minister Hojatollah Ayoubi said the decision indicates new President Hassan Rouhani’s support for films. The January 2012 closure of the body was decried by prominent filmmakers, including Oscar nominee Asghar Farhadi (A Separation). At a reopening ceremony, Ayoubi reportedly said, “When a cultural issue — like the one about the House of Cinema — becomes a political one, that is (because) the situation was not managed properly.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Smaug’ Score Recording Locks Down Town Hall; Martin Scorsese Tops Marrakech Fest Jury; More
Wellington Residents Can’t Access Town Hall During ‘Smaug’ Recording
New Zealand website Stuff reports that the people of Wellington have “essentially lost access” to the Town Hall while the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra records the score for …
Global Showbiz Briefs: Channel 4 Picks Up U.S. Series; San Sebastian To Premiere ‘Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet’; More
Channel 4 Imports ‘Hostages’, ’100′, ‘Tomorrow People’, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’
Britain’s Channel 4 has acquired a quartet of U.S. shows that will air in early 2014, including three from Warner Bros International Television: Hostages will air on Channel 4, while The 100 and The Tomorrow People will air on sister channel E4. Also coming to Channel4 is Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., the new series from Marvel Television and ABC Studios. It premieres on C4 in the fall, soon after its ABC launch in the U.S. In a new commission, C4 has ordered Making Liberty, a three-part series based around the luxe Regent Street department store. Rize USA is producing the series that focuses on the store as it preps for the Christmas season. It will air in the fall.
‘The Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet’ Premiere Will Close San Sebastian
Amélie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s latest film, The Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet is set to world premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival. It will close the proceedings on September 28. Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Kyle Catlett, Callum Keith Rennie, Robert Maillet and Dominique Pinon star. Gaumont backed the 3D movie about a 12-year-old child prodigy who lives on a ranch in Montana. His great talent for cartography and inventions soon is rewarded. A scientific institute announces that he has won a prestigious award, and he sets out across the country to collect it. The Weinstein Co. acquired the pic in Cannes.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Channel 4 Faces Airline Lawsuit, Primps For ‘Real Sex’; UK Bans Bruce Willis — Sort Of; More
Channel 4 Threatened With Lawsuit Over Ryanair Report
In the past year, the BBC has been the subject of harsh criticism — and legal action — over some of its reporting. Now it’s Channel 4‘s turn. A report by the network’s news program Dispatches has flown in the face of low-cost airline Ryanair, marking the second time in seven years the pair have butted heads. The investigative show’s Monday episode included concerns from unidentified pilots over the airline’s fuel policy and safety measures. Ryanair now says it plans to sue. “Ryanair has instructed its lawyers to issue legal proceedings against Channel 4 Dispatches for defamation,” the no-frills airline said. The program highlighted three occasions in which Ryanair pilots called in emergency alerts because they were low on fuel. Ryanair says the incidents occurred because of bad weather and that EU regulations were met in each case. The Dublin-based carrier serves 30 countries in Europe and North Africa. In 2006, it was the subject of a separate Dispatches report, “Ryanair Caught Napping,” which criticized its safety, training and hygiene practices. Ryanair denied the allegations. Channel 4 told Deadline today, “We stand by our journalism.”
‘Real Sex Season’ Coming To Channel 4
In other Channel 4 news, the network says it wants to be “very un-British and talk about what really goes on in Britain’s bedrooms.” To do so, it’s planning a thematic series of shows to form the Real Sex Season beginning in September. The focus will be the effect that pornography is having on people’s expectations of sex. Included among the new shows are Porn On The Teenage Brain, a study of the impact of readily-available, explicit content on adolescents; The Week The Women Came, produced by ITV’s The Garden, about a group of women on a mission to confront loss of libido; and Date My Porn Star, which gives three porn-obsessed men the chance to meet and date their favorite adult movie stars to see if they can distinguish between the fantasy and the reality.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Channel 4 Debuts UK’s First Mobile Catch-Up Service; Second INTV Conference Set For November
Channel 4 Debuts UK’s First Mobile Catch-Up Service
Channel 4 has become the first commercial UK broadcaster to offer a free offline mobile catch-up service. The ad-supported service allows viewers in Britain the opportunity to …
In what will be the first fully-subtitled drama to air on the UK’s Channel 4 in 20 years, the net has acquired premiere broadcast rights to French supernatural series Les Revenants. Zodiak is handling international sales on the thriller that was produced by Haut et Court for Canal Plus and originally aired to record numbers last fall. The show, re-titled Rebound in the UK, centers on a group of people in a small Alpine village who find themselves in a state of confusion, trying to return to their homes. What they don’t yet know is that they’ve been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. Fabrice Gobert created the show based on the 2004 feature Les Revenants by Robin Campillo. Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Celine Sallette, Frederic Pierrot, Samir Guesmi and Guillaume Gouix star.
The UK is no stranger to subtitled fare – BBC Four airs such imported shows as Sweden’s Wallander, Denmark’s Borgen and Italy’s Inspector Montalbano. But the Rebound deal marks the second time in recent months that there’s been cross-Channel collaboration on a series. Sky Atlantic and Canal Plus started shooting last month on The Tunnel, the 10-part bilingual English-French adaptation of Scandinavian cop series The Bridge.
Quentin Tarantino Has Heated Exchange With UK Journalist On Film Violence, Says “I’m Not Your Slave”: Video
Promoting Oscar-nominated Django Unchained, which had its premiere in London last night, Quentin Tarantino refused to repeat his position on violence in movies during an interview with Channel 4 Evening News host Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Asked about the link between movie violence and real violence, Tarantino responds …
When historian Tom Holland’s documentary, Islam: The Untold Story, originally aired on Channel 4 in late August, it prompted over 1,000 complaints to the network and 200 to regulator Ofcom. Now, the UK broadcaster has cancelled an invite-only screening that was to be held this Thursday at its London headquarters, saying it did so after “having taken security advice.” Among the Twitter messages Holland has received since the broadcast is one that reads, “You might be a target in the streets. You may recruit some bodyguards, for your own safety.”
The controversial doc examines the origins of Islam and questions some of the writings in the Koran. In the film, Holland says, “When it comes to Islam’s beginnings, there is no full light of history… I felt like I was being sucked into a black hole.” After the Aug. 28 airing, the Islamic Education and Research Academy responded, saying in part, “Holland appears to have turned a blind eye to the rich Islamic historical tradition. There are no ‘black holes’ and there is no missing information.”