Outcast, the exorcism drama project from The Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman, is moving to a pilot stage at Cinemax. Kirkman made the announcement on Twitter from Comic-Con, where he is with the AMC zombie drama which has its always-popular panel presentation in Hall H. In his pilot writing debut, Kirkman penned Outcast on spec for The Walking Dead international partner Fox International Channels, which developed the project internally before taking it out. Cinemax acquired the script last November. Like The Walking Dead, Outcast too is based on a comic by Kirkman, who will serve as executive producer alongside David Alpert of Circle of Confusion, Sue Naegle, Chris Black, and Sharon Tal Yguado of FIC. The project follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a journey to find answers, but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it.
Global Showbiz Briefs: NBCUniversal, Amazon Ink UK Streaming Deal; Fox International Channels Takes ‘Wayward Pines’ Rights; More
Amazon, NBCUniversal Ink U.K. Streaming Deal
Amazon and NBCUniversal have finalized a UK instant video subscription deal that will make hundreds of episodes of U.S. TV series available on Prime Instant Video. Amazon is bringing multiple seasons of such NBCUniversal shows as Suits, Grimm and Parks And Recreation to the UK’s largest movie and TV streaming subscription service. Also included in the deal are renewals of series such as Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, The Office (U.S.) and 30 Rock.
Jan Koeppen, the current COO of 21st Century Fox Europe and Asia, is making a transition to Fox International Channels where he will take over as President of Europe and Africa. He is stepping into the position vacated by Jesus Perezagua, who announced his departure last month. Koeppen will be based in London and report to President and CEO Hernan Lopez. The exec will have P&L responsibility for FIC’s 94 TV and online services across 88 countries in Europe and Africa where leading channel brands include Fox, Fox Sports, Fox Life and National Geographic Channel. As COO of 21st Century Fox, Koeppen has overseen the group’s portfolio of companies including Sky Italia, Sky Deutschland, BSkyB, Star India and Fox Turkey. Among his myriad transactions, Koeppen was instrumental in the creation of Star India as a stand-alone operation and in the acquisition of a majority stake in Sky Deutschland. He serves on the boards of Sky Deutschland, Tata Sky and Fox Turkey. Koeppen was previously with Boston Consulting Group.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Jesus Perezagua Exiting Fox International Channels; ‘Peaky Blinders’ Tops BAFTA TV Craft Award Noms; More
Jesus Perezagua Exiting Fox International Channels
Fox International Channels President of Europe and Africa Jesus Perezagua has announced his departure. The exec has been at the company since 2003. He joined as managing director of FIC Spain and Portugal and in 2005 took over the company’s expansion plan in Eastern and Central Europe, Turkey and Greece. Perezagua became President of FIC Europe and Africa in 2011. He will step down from the role on April 30 but will continue to consult FIC. The search is on for a successor. Prior to FIC, Perezagua held posts at Iberian Channels and Online for Fox Kids Entertainment Espana and was Managing Director of Bandai Espana, a Japanese toy company specializing in TV marketing concepts.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Time In Between’ Finale Sets Records; Fox Int’l Channels Airing Super Bowl Live In Europe; More
‘The Time In Between’ Finale Sets Records In Spain
Deadline readers who follow international closely will know that I’ve been high on Spanish period miniseries The Time In Between. The 11-part mini debuted in Spain in October as the best local drama premiere of the last eight years. It concluded its run on Antena 3 on Tuesday night with an all-time record high of over 5.5M viewers and a 27.8% share. It also hit a peak of 5.88M viewers. The series overall averaged 5M viewers and had a 25.5% average share. Produced by Boomerang TV for Antena 3, it led among over 35s with a 25.2% share, and reached a 37.7% share among audiences aged 55-64. Based on María Dueñas’ novel, The Time In Between is set during the Spanish Civil War and the run-up to World War II. It’s the story of a woman raised by a poor single mother and taught to be a seamstress. When she falls for a handsome young man, she moves with him to Morocco and spends months living the high life. But when the money runs out and she falls pregnant, he leaves. She ultimately builds a new life and becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. She also begins working for the British government, passing information to the Secret Service. Interest from abroad has been high: The series already is running in Romania and offers on remake rights and/or the original are in from the U.S., Canada, Italy, France, Portugal, the former Yugoslavia, Russia, Croatia, and several territories in Latin America and Africa.
Fox International Channels Airing Super Bowl Live In Europe
While Europeans eagerly await this summer’s World Cup, they’ll be able to check out the biggest game of the year for the other kind of football in just a few weeks. Fox International Channels is bringing the Super Bowl to the continent. When the Seattle Seahawks face off with the Denver Broncos on February 2 in East Rutherford, N.J., NFL fans in Europe will be able to watch the full Fox coverage beginning at 12:25 AM on February 3. More than 12 million households in Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia will have access to the game. This will be the first time the Super Bowl is broadcast live on the FIC channels in Europe. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers are the halftime act. Separately, Fox International Channels said today that it has appointed Fabrizio Salini to managing director of its Italian operation, effective February 17. Salini was VP Entertainment Channels for FIC Italy from 2003 and 2011, and returns after a two-year stint serving senior management roles at SKY Italia, Discovery Communications Italia and Switchover Media.
Los Angeles, November 5, 2013: Simon Thomas will join FOX International Channels’ (FIC) executive management team in January as Executive Vice President of Global Sports and Content Sales, it was announced today by Hernan Lopez, President & Chief Executive Officer of FIC. The appointment comes as FIC continues to expand its worldwide sports presence and ownership of premium sports rights as well as its catalog of original factual, lifestyle and scripted content.
Thomas, a seasoned sports and media executive, spearheads the development of two of FIC’s highest growth units. The first is the international FOX Sports channel portfolio and its complementary stake in global sports rights. The second is a newly consolidated content sales and syndication arm responsible for monetizing FIC’s extensive and growing library of sports, factual, lifestyle and scripted entertainment content. Thomas will based in London and Zurich and will report to Hernan Lopez, President and CEO of FIC.
The World Series got under way tonight, so Fox International Channels figured it’s a good time to unveil a long-term deal to air MLB games in more than 30 European countries, starting with this year’s Fall Classic. The exclusive, multiplatform pact with Major League Baseball International gives FIC the rights to all MLB games: regular season, playoffs and the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, along with baseball-related programming from Fox and MLB. Meanwhile, back in the States: Fox likely isn’t thrilled about that 5-0 lead the Red Sox built early and have held against the Cardinals in Game 1 of the Series. Baseball blowouts in primetime don’t exactly enthrall the demo.
The exec producer of five Real Housewives spinoffs has been tapped as the first EVP of the new unit, overseeing original development, production and acquisitions. Christian Barcellos also will develop and implement a long-term programming plan for Fox International Channels‘ global lifestyle brand, Fox Life, and deliver a lifestyle and reality slate. Barcellos’ credits also include Queer Eye For The Straight Guy and Flipping Out.
With the popularity of global soccer increasing in the States, and as next summer’s World Cup in Brazil approaches, 21st Century Fox is adding to its international rights portfolio. The group has partnered with the Deutsche Fussball Liga to deliver soccer to millions of fans in 80 territories on four continents, including North America. In North and South America and Asia, the new agreements are for five years; in Europe, they’ll last two years. Financial terms were not disclosed. Matches will be shown across Fox International Channels, Fox Sports and Sky Italia. The deals kick off with the 2015-16 season for all 306 Bundesliga matches per year. The Bundesliga is one of the premiere soccer leagues in the world with one of the best known teams in Bayern Munich, whose players include France’s Frank Ribéry and Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger. Fox is deep into soccer around the world with notable recent deals including BSkyB‘s £2.28B spend on rights to 116 English Premiere League matches for three seasons beginning this year, and Fox Sports’ record $425M for U.S. broadcast rights to the 2018-2022 World Cup package.
Fox International Channels is partnering with Keshet International on the U.S. adaptation of Homeland producer Keshet’s newest Israeli scripted drama series Shkufim (False Flag). Parkland director Peter Landesman will make his TV writing debut and pen the adaptation. The original series, which airs on Keshet channel 2 in Israel, is inspired by the 2010 assassination in Dubai, where a Palestinian radical was killed in his hotel room. The hotel pieces together surveillance footage and passport photographs to implicate 26 international hotel guests and release them to global news outlets. Landesman’s version, which FIC is developing in house, centers on eight apparently ordinary U.S. citizens who wake up to find their faces and private lives broadcast across the Internet and television news around the world as suspects in a brazen and dangerous international crime. What seems at first like a horrible case of mistaken identity unspools into a psycho-espionage thriller. Amit Cohen-Raab and Maria Feldman created the Israeli series, which is produced by Tender productions. Cohen-Raab, who wrote the series, will co-write the U.S. pilot story with Landesman.
Madrid – September, 4th 2013 – FOX International Channels, 21st Century Fox multimedia business, announced today a 2-year agreement with NFL International to broadcast one NFL game per window in English across parts of Europe on FOX Sports channels, FOX Sports branded blocks, and FOX Sports services beginning with the 2013 season.
NFL fans in Europe will be able to watch on FIC Sunday games, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and all three U.S. Thanksgiving Day Games in English. FIC will also broadcast all NFL postseason games in English, including the Super Bowl.
Global Showbiz Briefs: FoxCrime Launches In Africa; News Corp Seals Mobile Deals For Soccer In Asia; More
FoxCrime Channel Infiltrates South Africa
Fox International Channels announced the South African launch of its global crime and investigation entertainment network, FoxCrime. The launch adds 1.6 million subscribers to the brand’s 25 million existing global households. The South African FoxCrime schedule combines FIC original co-productions such as The Bridge with franchise acquisitions including Criminal Minds, CSI and Blue Bloods. The channel also boasts a Classic Crime block that launches with NYPD Blue, Remington Steele, CHiPs and The Streets of San Francisco and includes an African-focused slot entitled Case Files: Africa, covering infamous crime stories from across the Continent.
News Corp Secures Exclusive Mobile, Internet Soccer Rights
News Corp said Monday that it has secured exclusive mobile and Internet clip rights for England’s Barclays Premier League and several additional major leagues in Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia beginning this month. In addition, mobile and Internet rights have been secured in those territories for Bundesliga (Germany), Ligue 1 (France), Serie A (Italy), FA Cup (England), Championship (England), Capital One Cup (England), Brazilian Championship, and Major League Soccer.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Marc Forster Heads Zurich Competition Jury; Fox Preps Launch In Netherlands; More
Marc Forster Tops International Film Competition Jury At Zurich
Marc Forster has been tapped to lead the International Film Competition Jury at the Zurich Film Festival, which runs September 26-October 6. The Swiss-German director, producer and screenwriter most recently helmed World War Z. Said Forster, “I have followed the success story of the Zurich Film Festival from afar and I’m certain that a fascinating task awaits me,” he said. The jury also includes American producer Stacey Sher, Indian producer Guneet Monga, Australian writer-director Andrew Dominik and Swiss filmmaker Thomas Imbach.
Fox Launches August 19 In The Netherlands
Fox will launch a 24-hour localized channel in the Netherlands on August 19. It will be available to digital TV subscribers of Dutch cable operator Ziggo. Fox International Channels will operate the new network in partnership with Dutch media venture Eredivisie Media & Marketing. The channel will target men and women ages 12 and older, offering a slate of premium, first-run drama, movies, animation and sports programming. The series lineup will include The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, The Bridge, Low Winter Sun and Ripper Street.
Under Fox International Channels, Fox Sports has increased its subscribers outside the U.S. from 17 million to more than 64 million in the past three years. The network has expanded in places like Japan, Brazil, Southeast Asia and the Netherlands. Next up is the August kickoff of Fox Sports Italy with a soccer-heavy roster that includes matches from the British Premiere League, Spain’s La Liga, the French League and the FA Cup alongside a slate of sports talk shows. In a separate but related report, The Guardian said this weekend that Fox is exploring a plan to create a summer soccer league featuring Europe’s top clubs with matches to be aired globally by the new 21st Century Fox’s broadcasters starting in 2015. The games would be played in Europe, Asia and the Americas with cities bidding to act as host, à la Formula 1 races, the report said, while warning the proposal is at its early stages. Top soccer sides have increasingly been exporting their brands on the global stage. This summer, the Guinness International Champions Cup will be played in the U.S. and Europe from July 27-August 7. Among the eight participating teams are Real Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus and Valencia. Those games are to be aired by Fox Soccer and Fox Sports.
Fox International Channels today promoted the company veteran to COO as well as naming him CEO of National Geographic Channels International. Ward Platt had been FIC’s President of Asia Pacific and the Middle East. He will relocate to Los Angeles and work to implement FIC’s global growth plans, continuing to report to FIC President and CEO Herman Lopez. In his NCGI role, Platt will oversee international programming, marketing, operations, syndication and finance for the National Geographic Channels outside of the US. Before joining Fox, he was VP Distribution and Business Development at Star Group. Also today, Zubin Gandevia was promoted from COO of Fox International Channels Asia to President of the unit. He will continue to report to Platt.
Fox International Channels has acquired first run pay-TV rights to René Balcer‘s upcoming crime series Jo in more than 120 territories. The English-language series, formerly titled Le Grand, stars Jean Reno as a veteran detective in Paris’ elite Criminal Brigade who stops at nothing to solve the most challenging murder cases. Also starring are Jill Hennessy, The Borgias‘ Tom Austen and newcomer Heida Reed. The hourlong drama is from Atlantique Productions with Red Arrow International handling sales. FIC has picked up the series in territories that include Latin America, Africa, Italy, Korea, Russia, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Poland and Turkey. Law & Order vet Balcer is showrunner and exec producer. Also writing and producing are co-creators Franck Ollivier and Malina Detcheva. Directors include Charlotte Sieling and Kristoffer Nyholm, both helmers of the original Danish version of The Killing, Stefan Schwartz (Dexter) and Sheree Folkson (Hit And Miss).
Copper is going worldwide. Fox International Channels and Cineflix Studios have an agreement to show the upcoming BBC America Civil War era drama in Australia, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Portugal as well as across Latin America and the continent of Africa. The 10-episodes of Copper, which is BBC America’s first scripted commission and Cineflix Studios’ first scripted order, will debut internationally in the fall. Premiering on BBC America on August 19, Copper tells the tale of an Irish immigrent who becomes a New York City policeman during the turmoil of the 1860s. Tom Fontana and Will Rokos created the series. The duo executive produce the show as does Barry Levinson and Christina Wayne, President of Cineflix Studios. Tom Weston-Jones plays the lead character and is joined in the cast by Franka Potente, Kyle Schmid, and Anastasia Griffith.
RELATED: BBC America on ‘Copper’: TCA
David S. Goyer’s historical fantasy series Da Vinci’s Demons was picked up straight to series by Starz with an eight-episode order back in October. Now Fox International Channels has come aboard the Starz-BBC Worldwide co-production to become the exclusive first window pay-TV broadcaster in territories outside the U.S. and Canada, similar to distribution deals it has struck for Dexter, Touch and The Walking Dead. Demons will roll out across FIC’s 200 channels in 120 countries when it premieres in early 2013; BBC Worldwide has all other international rights. The series stars Tom Riley as Leonardo Da Vinci in the untold story of the world’s greatest genius, who comes of age as an artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist in Renaissance Florence. Production is underway in Wales.