Regular collaborators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones have launched production company House of Tomorrow at Endemol UK. The new outfit will produce dramas, comedy series and feature films for the UK and international markets and already has projects in development at U.S. and UK networks. Writer/host/producer Brooker will be Creative Director of House Of Tomorrow and Jones will be Managing Director. The pair were previously aligned at Endemol-owned comedy producer Zeppotron. Their collaborations have included widely sold series like the International Emmy winning satirical drama Black Mirror, detective spoof A Touch of Cloth and BAFTA nominated thriller Dead Set. Jones also exec produces popular BBC comedy Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe. She was formerly Endemol UK’s head of business developement and headed up the group’s M&A team. As Endemol increases its scripted footprint around the globe, it will add House of Tomorrow to its growing stable of drama producers including Tiger Aspect Productions and Artists Studio. The Big Brother producer also recently entered an exclusive first-look development and distribution deal with UK drama producer Mam Tor Productions Limited.
In what sounds like a challenge to ITV’s upcoming Rising Star adaptation, the UK’s Channel 4 is launching a live multi-platform, interactive singing competition, The Singer Takes It All. Endemol UK created the format, which will air in four hourlong parts. Well-known UK TV presenter Alan Carr will host. The weekly primetime game show will see budding singers perform live on a 60-foot-long moving stage while, via a new app, judges at home will rate their performances a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss.’ The results will play out on screen seconds later. If a singer gets a hit rating, they move forward towards the Gold Zone at the front stage to continue their song. But if the majority of viewers judge them a miss, they’re booted backwards off the track — and potentially out of the show. Viewers get up to four votes for each performance with constant voting throughout. The best singer on each show will perform a second time for a shot at an unspecified cash prize. The free app is built by Chunk, incorporating new live-voting technology developed by Tectonic Interactive. No air date has been set.
Social experiments may be the ne plus ultra of the unscripted TV world right now, but game shows are still hot too. So much so that Endemol UK is launching a dedicated production division to specialize in game show formats for the local and international marketplace. Remarkable Games will exist within Remarkable Television and build on that company’s track record of delivering multiplatform game show hits. James Fox, former Head of Entertainment at Remarkable Television, will become Creative Director of Remarkable Games. His purview is to create, develop and exec producing a new portfolio of game show formats as well as further building the success of Remarkable’s existing titles in the genre, Pointless (BBC One), The Million Pound Drop (Channel 4), Ejector Seat (ITV) and the upcoming Two Tribes (BBC Two). Remarkable Games will also work closely with Endemol UK’s commercial and digital teams, including online gaming hub Endemol Games. Fox joined Endemol in 2010 and moved over to Remarkable in 2012. He’ll be joined by Ejector Seat producer Dom Waugh who becomes Executive Producer for Remarkable Games.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Lambert Wilson Set As Master Of Ceremonies At Cannes Film Festival; Emily Dalton Upped At DSP
Lambert Wilson Set As Master Of Ceremonies At Cannes
French actor Lambert Wilson has been tapped to launch the 67th Cannes Film Festival on May 14. He also will welcome the president Jane Campion and her jury to the stage at the Palais des Festivals and host the prize ceremony on May 24. The versatile actor’s credits range from humour to thrillers and from art house to romcoms, and he has worked with such French film greats as André Téchiné, Benoît Jacquot, Bertrand Tavernier and Alain Resnais. Wilson made his first appearance in Cannes in 1985, with Téchiné’s Rendez-vous and has returned several times both as an actor and as president of the Un Certain Regard jury in 1999.
Darlow Smithson Productions Taps Emily Dalton As Managing Director
Endemol UK said Friday that Emily Dalton has been appointed Managing Director of factual producer DSP. Ben Bowie is stepping down from the post to pursue a new venture. Dalton also will continue her role as Creative Director. She joined DSP in January 2011 as Head of Development, stepping up to become Deputy Creative Director later that year before being appointed Creative Director in May 2013. Before DSP, she was Head of Development at factual indie Windfall Films and previously worked at Twenty Twenty and ITN Factual.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Girls Impact The World, Dubai Fests Partner On Filmmaker Prize; ‘The Wolverine’ Tops In China; More
Girls Impact the World And Dubai Fests Team On Film Prize
The Girls Impact the World Film Festival and the Dubai International Film Festival have partnered to offer a new prize, the DIFF Prize for Advancing Women and Girls. The prize will be awarded to an aspiring student filmmaker from the Middle East and North Africa region for a short original film on an issue related to the advancement of women and girls globally. The winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship award. The submission deadline is December 31. Entries will be judged by a panel that includes Jeff Skoll, Christy Turlington-Burns, actor Ian Somerhalder, and Paley Center CEO Pat Mitchell. The winning submissions will be screened — and the final winner selected — at an awards ceremony at Harvard College on February 22. Guidelines and entry requirements can be found here.
‘The Wolverine’ Claws Its Way To $14.4M Opening In China
Fox’s The Wolverine opened in China this weekend, taking $14.4M from Friday through Sunday. After four days in release, it had earned $18.3M through last night, according to FilmBizAsia. The film was No. 1 at the box office and outperformed 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which earned a total of $13.2M. The Wolverine was ahead of Donnie Yen’s new Chinese entry Special ID, which opened on Friday to $10.9M. Last week, magic/heist thriller Now You See Me was the top pic at the box office, but fell sharply in its second weekend, FBA said. Tsui Hark’s hot Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon, is closing in on $98.5M and Huayi Brothers Media Corp said Monday that it was lowering its box office revenue share from 43% to 30% in an effort to get the film across the line.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Tom Hollander Plays Dylan Thomas; Turkey’s ‘The End’ Sells To Russia; Pathé’s ‘Pride’; More
Tom Hollander Stars As Dylan Thomas In Andrew Davies Drama
Tom Hollander (Rev, Any Human Heart) will play Dylan Thomas in the one-off drama A Poet In New York by Andrew Davies’ (Mr Selfridge). Modern Television is producing for the BBC to mark the centenary of Thomas’ birth. The story kicks off with the Welsh poet’s arrival in Manhattan on his fatal visit and covers the last days of his life as well as his stormy relationship with wife Caitlin. Essie Davis, Ewen Bremner and Phoebe Fox also star. Shooting is underway, with the drama due to air on BBC One Wales and BBC Two next year.