Clock To Start Ticking For Indian ’24′
Slumdog Millionaire star Anil Kapoor is getting to work on the Indian version of the TV series 24. The actor, who was featured in the final season of Fox/20th TV’s real-time drama, will produce via his Anil Kapoor Film Co. He’ll also play the Jack Bauer character, now reportedly named Jai Singh Rathod, in the local take. According to BollywoodLife, production was due to kick off this week at Kapoor’s Stage 21 studio near Mumbai. Delhi Belly director Abhinay Deo is helming the series and Rensil D’Silva, who’s directing Sanjay Dutt’s Ungli, is scripting. The local broadcast partner is Viacom-owned Colors. Kapoor will next be seen on the big screen in Shootout At Wadala directed by Sanjay Gupta.
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Global Showbiz Briefs: India’s ‘24’, ITV Shifts Mike Blair, iTunes Prices In Oz, Plus JFK & Afghan Docs
Clock To Start Ticking For Indian ’24′
Almost three years into its five-year Transformation Plan, the UK’s leading commercial broadcaster ended 2012 with a 13% increase in earnings, despite flat ad revenues. In reporting its full-year results this morning, ITV, whose flagship channel …
The UK’s ITV Studios is teaming with New Zealand-based Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop to co-produce Thunderbirds Are Go!, an update of the classic kids series that debuted in 1965. Twenty-six half hours have been ordered for air on ITV and CITV in the UK in 2015. The original Thunderbirds was created by Gerry Anderson, who passed away in December. Although it aired for just two seasons on ITV in the 60s, it became an international sensation. In syndication, the high-tech tales of adventurers rocketing around the world to fight evil-doers became a staple of Saturday morning and weekday afternoon programming in the U.S. The series also spawned feature films and inspired South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s Team America: World Police.
The new series will be produced using a unique mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets while also paying tribute to the legacy of model locations from Anderson’s original. Thunderbirds Are Go! will see the return of the five brave Tracy brothers as they pilot their incredible vehicles into impossible rescues across the globe. Estelle Hughes is exec producing for ITV Studios, Giles Ridge for ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Richard Taylor and Andrew Smith for Pukeko Pictures.
Downton Abbey‘s UK broadcaster ITV reported its interim results today with the group’s external revenue up 4% to £1.57B ($2.49B). Non-net advertising revenue was up 15% to £730M ($1.16B), driven by production arm ITV Studios, maker of such programs as Hell’s Kitchen and the upcoming Mr. Selfridge with Jeremy Piven. ITV Studios is expected to turn a profit of over £100M ($158.7M) for the year “and the number of new commissions and recommissions already secured for 2013 gives us confidence that there will continue to be good underlying growth in the Studios business,” boss Adam Crozier noted.
Continuing its five-year transformation plan, the company says total cost savings this year will be about £30M ($47.6M), or £10M ($15.87M) ahead of target. The advertising market has been “broadly flat,” Crozier said.
New York – The National Labor Relations Board has rejected the final appeal by reality television production company ITV Studios to challenge the certification of the December 2010 election results which make the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) the Union representing the production company’s writers and producers.
The NRLB decision upholding the election ends nearly two years of legal foot dragging by the company. The UK-owned ITV Studios is responsible for the nonfiction hit “First 48″ and is a major producer of non- fiction TV. ITV’s corporate parent in Great Britain negotiates with a number of unions so the company’s resistance in the U.S. has been puzzling. Presumably the NLRB’s unanimous decision will bring the company to the bargaining table.
UPDATE: Just after announcing half-year results this morning, ITV said it has acquired Norwegian production company Mediacircus and has joined forces with Israeli broadcaster Reshet in a strategic development and production partnership. The moves fall in line with the company’s transformation plan as it aims to build a strong international content business. Mediacircus, which will become part of ITV Studios Nordic, produces factual and documentary programming. It currently produces the ITV Studios format Come Date with Me. Reshet develops and produces original drama and entertainment formats including Comedians At Work, Step Family and The Money Pump. Among its original dramas are A Touch Away, which has been licensed by HBO, and Life Is Not Everything, licensed by Sony Studios. Sharon Gelbaum-Shpan will head the venture’s Israeli office.
PREVIOUS: ITV chief exec Adam Crozier’s 5-year transformation plan at ITV is still underway and “gaining momentum.” The broadcaster reported its half-year results on Thursday morning with growth across all business areas. External revenues were up 10% to £1.13B with big increases at ITV Studios,
StudioCanal Acquires Hoyts Distribution Down Under
European production and distribution giant StudioCanal has expanded its footprint to Australia and New Zealand, acquiring Hoyts Distribution, which releases the Twilight franchise Down Under. Hoyts Corp, which owns the second-biggest circuit in Australasia, had been looking to unload its distribution unit before The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 opens here in November. No price was disclosed for the 11-year-old distribution company, which has a library of more than 120 titles, but industry executives estimated it would have fetched $A20 million-$A30 million. The existing team led by CEO Robert Slaviero remains in place.
Tuesday 1st May 2012 – ITV Studios UK is delighted to announce that award-winning programme-maker, Shu Greene, currently Head of Television at Syco TV and producer and creator of some of the biggest shows on UK and US television, is joining ITV Studios UK in the newly-created role of Director of Entertainment, ITVS.
Returning to her original TV home, Shu will lead the entertainment team to create and deliver great entertainment programming for both ITV and non-ITV channels, spearheading ITV Studios’ ambition to be the home for the best talent both on-screen, in development and production.
The UK’s ITV has announced a new 10-part drama series in a move that looks to build on the mega-success of its Downton Abbey. Mr. Selfridge will trace the life of the flamboyant and visionary American entrepreneur, Harry Gordon Selfridge, who created the famed London department store Selfridge’s. Contrary to Downton, which is made by NBCUniversal’s Carnival Films, Mr. Selfridge will be an in-house ITV Studios production. Created by writer Andrew Davies (Brideshead Revisted, Bridget Jones’ Diary), Mr. Selfridge is set in London in 1909 at a time when wealthy women were enjoying a new sense of freedom. ‘Mile a Minute Harry’ wanted to indulge, empower and celebrate these women; making shopping as thrilling as sex, according to ITV. Based on the book Shopping, Seduction And Mr Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead, the series will shine a light on hidden moments of the history of women through fashion, cosmetics, technology and domestic affairs. Production starts in April in London with the series to air in 2013. Chrissy Skinns is producer with Kate Lewis executive producing. Jon Jones will direct. ITV is currently out to cast an American actor in the lead role.
Deadline contributor Tim Adler files this international report:
Simon Cowell will return as one of the judges on next year’s Britain’s Got Talent, ITV boss Adam Crozier has confirmed. The X Factor impresario will resume his seat on the talent show following the recent exits of judges David Hasselhof and Michael McIntyre. Speaking to press this afternoon in London, the ITV boss also hinted that ITV Studios may be in the market to buy an American production company, pointing out that the U.S. is the second-liveliest market for independent TV producers apart from the UK. For now though, Crozier is concentrating on wiping out the £612 million worth of debt he inherited by year’s end. “When you inherit something that isn’t working, the worst thing you can do is start bolting things on,” he said.
Five New TV Stations Debut In South Korea
Five new TV stations went on the air Thursday in South Korea bringing the number of South Korean broadcasters to nine. The government still owns three. The fifth new channel will show only news programs. The privately owned stations’ establishment is the result of President Lee Myung-bak’s effort to loosen the government’s grip on the media industry. Lee initially planned to sell two of the three government-owned TV stations to newspapers or other private owners. But workers at the stations, their unions and opposition party politicians balked. Instead, in a July 2009 vote marred by fist-fights, the National Assembly passed legislation to allow other news organizations to start new stations. The government awarded stations to four newspapers — three of which support Lee’s conservative government – and the Yonhap news agency.
ITV Pairs With Producers For New Shingle
Camilla Campbell and Robert Wulff-Cochrane are partnering with ITV Studios in a new production company, Noho Film and TV. Campbell and Wulff-Cochrane have run the drama department of Britain’s Channel 4 for the past 2 years. Between them, they have 15 BAFTAs. The duo will begin development on new projects for Noho in the first semester of 2012 with an initial focus on scripted drama for young adult audiences. ITV is looking to augment its drama output and quickly get Noho up and running with a loaded production slate.
New York – Writers Guild of America East protested outside the New York offices of ITV Studios Friday demanding that the company, which produces highly successful scripted reality television programming, give its American employees the same rights as their unionized British counterparts. WGAE was joined in the action by members of the Writers Guild of Great Britain, Irish Writers Guild, Scriptwriters Guild of Israel, Societe des auteurs de radio, television et cinema (SARTEC) – the Quebec guild – Writers Guild of America, West, La Guilde (French Writers Guild), Australian Writers Guild and New Zealand Writers Guild.
New York– A National Labor Relations Board judge has issued a decision to certify the results of last December’s election making the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) the Union representing employees of ITV Studios in New York. The WGAE has called upon the production company to honor the ruling and begin immediate contract negotiations. The Administrative Law Judge handed down his decision upholding the election results late last week, ending more than nine months of legal foot dragging by the company. The UK-owned ITV Studios is responsible for the nonfiction hit “Buried Treasure” for Fox and are in production on the U.S. version of the hit crime series “Prime Suspect.”
“We urge ITV Studios to recognize the election results and join us at the negotiating table immediately. The judge’s decision makes clear what we have all known since last year, that the WGAE represents the employees who write the company’s shows,” Lowell Peterson, Executive Director, WGAE said. “It would be in everyone’s best interest for ITV to start addressing employee concerns, such as paid healthcare and pensions, instead of continuing a futile effort to delay the election results and prevent the collective bargaining process from moving forward.”
Andrew Davies, who wrote the script for The Three Musketeers and a slew of BBC period dramas, is adapting Lindy Woodhead’s nonfiction bestseller Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge for ITV Studios. I’m told that ITV hopes the story of how brash American retailer Harry Gordon Selfridge –”The Showman of Shopping” — opened the world’s first purpose-built department store in London in 1909 will repeat the success of Downton Abbey. That NBC Universal production has been a huge hit over here for ITV. Certainly there’s a plum role for the American actor playing Selfridge, who blew his fortune on mistresses and gambling before dying destitute. Selfridge’s girlfriends included famed dancer Isadora Duncan and Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. His massive overspending ultimately cost him control of Selfridges.
The second series of Downton Abbey, meanwhile, started shooting on location at Highclere stately home in Berkshire in March. Filming continues until July. PBS Masterpiece will premiere the second series on Jan. 8, 2012, following its ITV run starting this fall.
But that’s not the only bonnet-on-bonnet action coming your way on Masterpiece.
The second series of the BBC’s Upstairs Downstairs, a sequel to the original 1970s ITV show that chronicled the lives of the Edwardian Bellamy family, goes into production in September. The BBC originally announced its Upstairs Downstairs remake at the same time ITV unveiled Downton Abbey. “Upstairs Downstairs is elegantly entertaining but doesn’t reach the same heights as Downton Abbey,” sniffed the Daily Telegraph. Still, BBC1 controller Danny Cohen was pleased enough with the average 8.4 million viewers to commission another 6×60-minute series. There is no U.S. transmission date for Series 2 yet.
Debmar-Mercury has acquired domestic distribution rights to hit Fox reality series Hell’s Kitchen in a deal with its producer ITV Studios. The pact marks the third pairing between Debmar-Mercury and ITV Studios this year. The two companies are also collaborating on the development of the syndicated talk panel show, …