Global Showbiz Briefs: Simon Dickson Leaving Shine Group’s Dragonfly; ITV Agrees To Revive ‘Hollywood Squares’ Format; More

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

Simon Dickson Exiting As Managing Director Of Shine Group’s Dragonfly
Simon Dickson, Managing Director of Shine Group factual producer Dragonfly, is leaving the company after three years. The exec will step down next month, with Dragonfly Creative Director Mark Raphael and COO Lucinda Hicks taking over as Co-Managing Directors. Dickson joined Dragonfly in April 2011 as the company’s Creative Director before becoming Dragonfly_Logo_Large_UK1Managing Director in November 2012. Prior to joining Dragonfly, he served as Deputy Head of Documentaries at Channel 4. At Dragonfly, Dickson was executive producer on event documentary The Plane Crash (Discovery and Channel 4) and celebrities-in-the-wilderness series Bear Grylls’ Wild Weekends (Channel 4). Under his stewardship the company has delivered such documentaries as The Horsemeat Banquet (BBC Three), Terror At Sea: The Sinking Of The Concordia (Channel 4) and Hurricane Sandy: Anatomy Of A Superstorm (BBC Two) alongside series People Like Us and What Happens In Kavos for BBC Three and Channel 4, respectively. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: James Norton, Robson Green To Star In ITV’s ‘Grantchester’; Damian Lewis, Jeremy Northam Join ‘Our Kind Of Traitor’; More

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 9:52pm PDT

James Norton, Robson Green Set To Star In ITV Drama ‘Grantchester’
ITV has set the cast for its new six-part drama Grantchester. James Norton (Death Comes To Pemberley, Rush) will play the lead role of Sidney Chambers, a charismatic clergyman who turns investigative vicar when one of his … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Julie Sultan To Run AMBI’s International Sales Unit; ITV Buys Stake In Nordic On-Demand Channel Cirkus; More; More

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

AMBI Pictures Taps Julie Sultan To Run New International Sales Unit
Julie SultanJulie Sultan has been named as President of Worldwide Sales & Acquisitions at AMBI Distribution Corp, the newly launched international sales division of AMBI Pictures. She will oversee the new company, which represents Beverly Hills-based AMBI’s original productions as well as third-party product from around the world. Sultan has served in senior positions at Lakeshore Entertainment, where she oversaw sales of “Million Dollar Baby,” and the “Underworld” franchise, as well as NBC and Peace Arch Entertainment. Read More »

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The Indie TV Production Company Buying Spree: What’s Behind It? When Will It End?

itv-new-logoA rash of acquisitions of European and U.S. independent production companies has been steadily spreading over the past year and a bit. One exec says, “We joke that there’s a transaction a day.” Leading the charge is the UK’s ITV, which has been on a shopping spree since it first bought a controlling stake in Duck Dynasty maker Gurney Productions in late 2012. Also acquisitive has been the Pro Sieben-owned Red Arrow, which recently bought Say Yes To The Dress maker Half Yard Prods. But it’s a two-way street: NBCUniversal already owns Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films in the UK as well as Monkey Kingdom and Chocolate Media, among others. Warner Bros last month entered an agreement to take over the global interests, outside the U.S., of Dutch company Eyeworks, and has a majority stake in UK production group Shed Media. Core Media is also known to have its eyes open to UK purchases. What’s more, many of these outfits also own companies in the hot Nordic redarrowregion. And now there’s word that giant FremantleMedia may be moving in on vast group All3Media. A TV industry exec says, “We had the super-indies and now there’s a new breed of mega-indies.” If FremantleMedia acquires All3Media, it would create what an observer describes as “a very big beast.” Fremantle is a large group with significant turnover and some of their properties are getting older, an exec suggests. “It’s very difficult to replace that scale just through new productions.” However, I’m cautioned that should a deal be done, it won’t be in the imminent future.

SherlockSo what’s been driving all this consolidation and cross-pollination? For one, with TV channels proliferating in the U.S., whether it be via basic cable or digital platforms, foreign outfits see a prime opportunity to establish a foothold and build scale. In the reverse, U.S. companies moving into the booming UK production sector know that broadcasters are doling out a lot of cash for original content. Read More »

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Jeremy Piven Series ‘Mr Selfridge’ Gets Season Three Order From ITV

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 3:51am PST

mr selfridgeIn a move that was expected, ITV officially announced today that it has ordered 10 new episodes of period drama Mr Selfridge. The Jeremy Piven-starring series is currently in its 2nd season … Read More »

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Jack Huston, Rose Leslie Among Cast For ITV’s ‘The Great Fire’ Miniseries

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 2:34am PST

rose lesliejack hustonITV has set the roster for its upcoming four-part miniseries that follows the lives and loves of both historical and fictional characters in 1666 London as Read More »

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Global Showbiz Watch 27 – When Frenemies Unite Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch ep 27In this week’s audio podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom look at the possibility that frenemies John Malone and Rupert Murdoch will combine and snap up the UK’s Channel 5, even as a booming ITV opts out; and Amazon’s new combination platter of Prime services that are challenging Netflix more aggressively in Britain, including through a partnership with the BBC to revive the cancelled period drama Ripper Street. They also preview those other big awards this weekend, France’s Cesars, and take their weekly look at the international box office, as both Frozen and The Hobbit 2: The Desolation Of Smaug continue to rack up huge cumulative grosses.

Global Showbiz Watch podcast 27 (.MP3 version)
Global Showbiz Watch podcast 27 (.M4A version)
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ITV Reports 30% Increase In Pre-Tax Profit For 2013; Still On The Hunt For Acquisitions

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 2:44am PST

itv-new-logoBritain’s ITV has been on a shopping spree in the past 18 months, acquiring controlling interests in production compaines in the U.S., the UK and the Nordics. Today, the UK’s leading private broadcaster announced its full-year results … Read More »

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‘Downton Abbey’ Scores Another Personal Best In Fourth Season Finale: 8.5M Viewers

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 1:25pm PST

downton-abbeyAn average of 8.5 million viewers tuned in for Downton Abbey‘s fourth season finale last night. That’s a personal finale best for the period drama on PBS. The Season 3 finale drew 8.2 million viewers on February 17 last year, a 50% surge from the Season 2 ender in 2012.

This season  opened on January 5 with 10.2 million tuned in – up 22% compared to the Season 3 debut of 7.9 million which, in turn had been a leap from the series Season 2 launch crowd of 4.2 mil. Even before this latest cycle started, Downton Abbey has been the highest-rated drama in PBS history. Read More »

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ITV Takes Controlling Stake In ‘Teen Wolf’ Producer DiGa Vision

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 1:22am PST

itv-new-logoIn yet another acquisition of a U.S. production company, the UK’s ITV has taken a controlling stake in DiGa Vision. The New York-based indie produces reality and scripted programming including MTV’s Teen Wolf. ITV is … Read More »

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Richard E. Grant, Anna Chancellor Among ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5 Additions

Richard E. GrantCarnival Films and ITV have set a handful of new names to join the cast of Downton Abbey as it heads into its 5th season. Richard E. Grant will play Simon … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Vice’ Attracts Berlin Buyers; Umedia Takes ‘Six Dance Lessons’; ITV To Launch New Channel

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 2:51am PST

Berlinale 2014 badgeProving yet again the affinity global distributors have for Bruce Willis, K5 International has enjoyed a strong sales run at Berlin with Vice. The Willis-starrer has nearly sold out with more than 37 territories biting. The Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films picture, produced by Randall Emmett, George Furla and Adam Goldworm, was picked up across Scandinavia, Russia, Benelux, Japan, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Israel, Portugal, Russia, Czechoslovakia and France. The film had previously sold to Germany, Poland, ex-Yugoslavia, Latin America, the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, and India. Shooting starts in Alabama next month on the movie that’s set in a resort where the rich live out their most perverse fantasies via synthetic humanoids. When one becomes self-aware and breaks out, she seeks her revenge. Willis plays the resort’s owner and Ambyr Childers is the renegade android. Thomas Jane is also in the cast. Brian A. Miller is directing from a script by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore. Read More »

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Simon Cowell Returning To ‘X Factor UK’ As Judge

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 2:32pm PST

Update: Fox’s ‘The X Factor’ Cancelled After Three Seasons

simon_cowell_on_red_xCreator Simon Cowell will lead the judging panel when the UK singing competition show returns to ITV for its 11th cycle later this … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ITV Orders Quiz Show ‘The 21st Question’; Eyeworks’ ‘Beat The Blondes’ Format Adapted For China

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 12:05am PST

ITV Orders Quiz Show ‘The 21st Question’
ITV has ordered The 21st Question, a new tactical quiz show from Chocolate Media. In the game, one power player faces 10 challengers through a series of tense “winner stays onitv new logo” rounds … Read More »

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New ITV Encore Channel To Air Top-Drawer Drama Series In Partnership With Sky

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 1:36am PST

itv1Britain’s ITV is launching its first new channel in eight years. Pay channel ITV Encore will debut later in 2014 on Sky‘s platforms and will be dedicated to the best of the broadcaster’s British drama. ITV’s flagship … Read More »

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ITV Orders Full Series Of Horror-Themed Game Show ‘Release The Hounds’

Release-The-HoundsHorror/game show hybrid Release The Hounds debuted as a Halloween special on the UK’s ITV2 last year. The one-off episode received positive notices for the premise, and an outpouring of interest on Twitter. ITV has now commissioned … Read More »

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‘Mr Selfridge’ Down In UK Return; ‘Call The Midwife’ Sets Record; Strong Bow For ‘The Musketeers’: Video

The Musketeers: Peter Capaldi as Cardinal RichelieuSunday night was a big one for new and returning British dramas in the UK. The Season 2 premiere of Jeremy Piven-starrer Mr Selfridge on ITV had an average 5.27M viewers … Read More »

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‘Doctor Who’ Is UK’s Most-Watched Drama On Christmas Day With 8.29M Viewers

By | Thursday December 26, 2013 @ 2:29am PST

time of the doctorThe BBC‘s Doctor Who Christmas special, The Time Of The Doctor, was the most-watched drama, and the second most-watched program, in Britain yesterday. The show, which saw Matt Smith’s departure as the 11th Doctor, … Read More »

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Hot TV Trailer: Jeremy Piven In ‘Mr Selfridge’ Season Two Preview

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 3:49am PST

Earlier this year, ITV and PBS both ordered a second season of the Jeremy Piven-starring department store drama Mr Selfridge. The promo below for the much-anticipated new 10-episode series has aired on British TV in the past few weeks, but had somehow … Read More »

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