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. READ MORE »
Derek, Ricky Gervais’ comedy series about a naively simple middle-aged man who works in a nursing home, has been renewed by Britain’s Channel 4. The show’s first season finishes … Read More »
Channel 4 film and drama controller Tessa Ross heads up Film4, the feature division of the network that’s given a boost to such filmmakers as Stephen Daldry, Steve McQueen, Paddy Considine, Martin McDonagh and Richard … Read More »
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 … Read More »
Ricky Gervais‘ British series Derek is coming to Netflix sometime next year. Netflix acquired rights to the comedy starring, written and directed by Gervais after the show’s run on Channel 4, the New York Times … Read More »
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.” Read More »
In an interesting pairing, Martha Marcy May Marlene helmer Sean Durkin will make his British TV debut with Channel 4 drama Southcliffe, based on a script by Tony Grisoni, who wrote the Red Riding trilogy for the net … Read More »
Britain’s Channel 4 has pledged to invest nearly £450 million towards original UK content in 2012, chief exec David Abraham announced today. The sum is an historic high for the network and should come as good news to the UK film industry where Channel 4 has lately been involved in such films as 2011’s local hit The Inbetweeners Movie as well as other notable indies Submarine, The Iron Lady, Shame and Tyrannosaur. It might not be such good news for US content creators, however, as Abraham noted the new spend is in part derived by pro-actively shifting some investment away from acquired, mainly US, programming, into UK commissioned content. A recent review of UK film policy urged Britain’s broadcasters to invest more in independent British film production with the head of the review committee noting Channel 4 had already done “pretty well by British film over the course of recent years,” Read More »
After three seasons on HBO’s In Treatment, Gabriel Byrne is returning to UK TV to star in a four-part drama series for Channel 4. With the working title Coup, the Company Pictures/Newscope Films conspiracy thriller starts production in February and … Read More »
Jeremy Clarkson Strikes Again, Fry’s A Gentleman
The BBC has put an episode of Stephen Fry’s game show QI on the shelf following remarks made by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson last week. The episode of the intellectual comedy quiz show, which Clarkson taped this past summer, was due to air tonight in the UK. But appearing on the BBC’s The One Show last week, Clarkson prompted outrage when he commented on the recent public workers strike in Britain, “I would have them taken outside and executed them in front of their families.” Clarkson apologized in due course, but he’s no stranger to this kind of controversy. Earlier this year Top Gear was criticized over comments about Mexicans which were perceived as racist. The Guardian has a compilation of Clarkson’s most famous flubs titled “Jeremy Clarkson: big mouth strikes again.” Meanwhile, I checked Stephen Fry’s Twitter feed to see if he’d made any comment about the network’s decision to shelve the show, but he’s been busy promoting the Sherlock Holmes sequel in which he plays Holmes’ brother Mycroft and which premiered last night in London. He did, however, point to a new poll in which Winston Churchill was voted the greatest British gentleman of the 20th century, followed by filmmaker Richard Attenborough and … Stephen Fry.
New Appointments At Sky, National Geographic
Phil Edgar Jones has been named head of entertainment for Sky. He will have oversight on the bouquet of channels that includes Sky 1, Sky Arts and Sky Living. He will also commission shows for Sky Movies and the recently launched Sky Atlantic which is airing a host of HBO shows. Edgar Jones was previously creative director of independent producer Running Bare and creative director of Remarkable Pictures where he exec produced Big Brother on Channel 4. In related news, Hamish Mykura has been named executive vice president and head of international content for National Geographic Channels International. The former head of documentaries for Channel 4 will also become the London head of global development for National Geographic Channel. Mykura will oversee editorial development and production for the company and will supervise NGCI’s networks NGC, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Adventure. Read More »
The low-budget film based on the hit Channel 4/E4 TV comedy series about four hapless teenage boys looks set for a big weekend in the UK. The Inbetweeners rang up $4.25M from 409 sites in its first day of … Read More »
2ND UPDATE: A 5 AM walkthrough of the Royal Wedding route took place today complete with carriages, trumpeters and up to 1,000 members of the Armed Forces wearing full ceremonial uniform. Meanwhile, the first spectator has claimed his spot right outside Westminster Abbey, kitted out with flags, a sleeping bag and an umbrella. But when Prince William slides the wedding ring on Kate Middleton’s finger on April 29, will there really be an expected global audience of 2 billion watching? NBC keeps saying ”it’s completely false” that it has cut back on the number of pre-taped segments because U.S. networks may have overestimated America’s appetite for all things House of Windsor compared to 1981, when William’s father Prince Charles wed Lady Diana Spencer. This time, around 140 million U.S. viewers are expected to watch. Worldwide, when 800 million watched the Charles-Di nuptials, this time Tim Santhouse, operational manager at AP Television News Global Media Services tells me ”the volume of broadcasters coming to London, and the number of camera set-ups involved, is unprecedented in terms of interest from overseas broadcasters and the proliferation of news outlets.” AP will be providing camera set-ups and satellite uplinks for around 60 networks doing direct-to-camera pieces including Canada’s CTV, Australia’s Channel 9, and Arab news channel Al-Jazeera. The 62 broadcaster members of the European Broadcast Union -– which include ARD in Germany, France 2 and RAI in Italy –- will be getting their clean feed directly from the BBC. Sam Dubberly, who is in charge of forwarding BBC coverage, tells me, ”the closer we get to the wedding, the more requests we’ve been getting from members.” But NHK, the Japanese state broadcaster, won’t only out of respect for its still-grieving population in the wake of the earthquake/tsunami disaster.
Talk about a high-tech event: one estimate has 8,000 TV and radio reporters and support staff traveling from around the world into London to cover the nuptials, which start at 3 AM PT. Around 140 outside broadcast trucks with satellite uplinks will be parked in nearby Green Park, with every major world broadcaster lining up cameras along the procession route. The BBC will be using 21 cameras inside the scene of the wedding itself, Westminster Abbey, some of them wireless and remote-controlled. But Prince Charles’ office stopped Rupert Murdoch from shooting the wedding in 3D, saying there just wasn’t enough room for his extra equipment in the Abbey.
Here’s who’s trying to cash in on Friday’s wedding day: Read More »
Rupert Murdoch took a swipe at rival media groups striving to block News Corp’s takeover of BSkyB and accused them of petty thinking. In what was billed as his first major speech in the UK since 1989, Murdoch tonight … Read More »
Kip Meek has been appointed non-executive chairman of Project Canvas, the joint venture between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk and Arqiva to create on-demand TV. Meek will step down from his consulting job at Ingenious Media. There’s been talk that Orange, the French mobile phone company, may join … Read More »
Channel 4 has struck a development deal with Kinetic Content, the new US production company set up by former RDF USA boss Chris Coelen. Under the deal, 4Rights, Channel 4’s rights exploitation division, will have first-look at UK rights … Read More »
Kip Meek, head of Ingenious Media’s consulting arm, is set to be named chairman of Project Canvas later this week, according to the Guardian. Project Canvas is the groundbreaking TV service that’s being launched by the UK’s terrestrial broadcasters. Canvas declined … Read More »
Danny Cohen, controller of BBC youth channel BBC3, and BBC1 controller Jay Hunt are front-runners for the new role of Chief Creative Officer. I’m hearing that Cohen has the slight edge. David Abraham, CEO of Channel 4, has announced … Read More »