‘MasterChef’ Renewed In China, ‘Minute To Win It’ Goes Local
Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group and the Shanghai Media Group have pacted for the second series of cooking reality competition show MasterChef China and for a local take on the beat-the-clock themed Minute To Win It. Both will go out on SMG’s Dragon TV. The first series of MasterChef China ends next week after so far reaching an audience of 118M. Pre-production is to start immediately on the new season and on Minute To Win It with both to air next year. READ MORE »
MIPCOM Briefs: More ‘MasterChef China’, HBO Asia’s ‘Serangoon Road’, Ex-Fremantle Asia CEO’s New Shingle
‘MasterChef’ Renewed In China, ‘Minute To Win It’ Goes Local
MIPCOM Briefs: Jane Campion On ‘Top Of The Lake’, Syfy’s ‘Defiance’ Sells In Canada, ProSieben Gets ‘Restless’, ITV Acquires ‘Money Pump’ Format Rights
Jane Campion Mulls More Minis
Director Jane Campion is no stranger to Cannes, but she’s usually here for the film festival. In town for Mipcom this week, she’s here in support of her BBC/Sundance Channel limited series Top Of The Lake. The six-hour drama is produced by Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech) and stars Elisabeth Moss. The move to longform TV 20 years after leaving the medium put Campion in a new environment where she “really gained a lot of respect” for folks who work in the business all the time. “It’s so different to map out six hours; we were shooting a feature ever four and a half weeks,” she says. Undaunted, Campion and her co-writer Gerard Lee tell me they’re already thinking about doing another similar project that would be set in Thailand. Top Of The Lake, set in Campion’s home country of New Zealand, centers on a female detective (Moss) investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl, who is the daughter of a local drug lord. Campion’s The Piano star Holly Hunter also appears as a sort of enlightened woman that Campion says she based on a man she once knew. BBC Two and Sundance will sked the series for next year.
‘Defiance’ Finds Canadian Home
Shaw Media has acquired Syfy’s Defiance for broadcast on Canada’s Showcase. The deal was made with NBCUniversal Television Canada on the future-set series. Showcase will air in the spring. Defiance introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. It centers on Jeb Nolan (Grant Bowler), the law-keeper in frontier boomtown Defiance that is one of the new world’s few oases of civility and inclusion. The Syfy Trion Worlds partnership is the first-ever convergence of TV and Massive Multiplayer Online gaming. Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Graham Greene and Mia Kirshner also star. The series is executive produced by Kevin Murphy and Michael Taylor. Production is currently underway in Toronto.
Three special episodes to mark Absolutely Fabulous‘ 20th anniversary were enough to land the iconic comedy series an International Emmy nomination. BBC’s Ab Fab, which won an International Emmy 18 years ago, was one of 38 nominees in nine categories for the 40th International Emmy Awards announced today by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at MIPCOM. The list also includes two series getting high-profile remakes in the U.S. — Australia’s The Slap, nominated for best drama series, and UK’s Spy, nominated for best comedy series. NBC just ordered an 8-episode event limited series based on The Slap, while ABC is developing an American version of Spy as a put pilot. Also among the nominees is Awake star Jason Isaacs for Case History.
As previously announced, the International Academy will present Special Founders Awards to Alan Alda and Norman Lear, while the 2012 International Emmy Founders Award will be presented to producer-writer Ryan Murphy. Winners will be announced at the 40th International Emmy Awards Gala on November 19 in New York. Here is the full list of nominees:
Television is where it’s at. That’s a refrain that I’ve heard not only – and not surprisingly – from the TV execs on the ground here in Cannes as Mipcom revs up, but also one I heard from movie execs when I was in Los Angeles last week. With fewer mid-range budget pictures being made by the studios and tentpoles trying to establish the stars of tomorrow from a well of unknowns, marquee names are increasingly looking to the small screen for traction in global event-style programming. Even Cannes Film Festival fixture Harvey Weinstein will grace the Croisette again this year when he unveils The Weinstein Co’s new TV slate on Tuesday. In the meantime, minis and limited series are all the rage. In just the past week, NBC picked up The Slap, an eight-episode limited series from Brothers & Sisters’ Jon Robin Baitz and Universal TV-based Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald based on the award-winning Australian short-form. And, Fox and FX Networks moved into the long-form event programming arena, teaming for a new production unit that will supply the sibling networks with high-profile limited and miniseries.
NBC this summer announced its plans for a live broadcast of The Sound Of Music from Smash executive producers (and Oscar show producers) Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. In a TV universe steadily taken over by time-shifted viewing, sports and event programming’s importance is on the rise. A U.S. TV exec told me on Sunday they wouldn’t be surprised if star-studded primetime event TV started to resemble the days of yore with miniseries becoming the must-see appointment, non-DVR wave of the future.
A movie exec in LA lamented to me last week the lack of film roles for serious actors who are mid-career. But Kevin Costner’s Emmy-winning turn in hit History miniseries Hatfields & McCoys had the knock-on effect of reinvigorating the star’s career, scoring him some key roles in major Hollywood features. “Everyone wants miniseries from networks to cable companies. You can drop a star into a mini giving them back-end potential… and there’s less pressure than with a feature if it doesn’t open at $30M,” a TV exec says. Not so coincidentally, A+E Networks’ president of entertainment and media Nancy Dubuc, riding high after Hatfields & McCoys, is in Cannes this week to deliver a keynote address.
EXCLUSIVE: Syfy has picked up Opposite Worlds, a 12-episode unscripted series based on a hit Chilean reality format. It will be executive produced by former NBC reality chief-turned-producer Craig Plestis. Syfy has acquired the U.S. format rights from Canal 13 and distributor Banijay International, and plans to air Opposite Worlds‘ 12 episodes over six weeks, marking the first time Syfy has aired an original series twice a week.
In Opposite Worlds, 20 people from all walks of life are mixed together in two opposing teams that live in two distinctly different worlds — the Past and the Future. The Future is a Utopia where every wish can be granted with a push of a button; the Past is a constant struggle for survival. Each week, players compete in a series of challenges to determine who lives in the Past and who lives in the Future.
Australian Actor Ewen Leslie Signs with CAA
The arrangement marks his first U.S. representation. Leslie, repped in Oz by Shanahan Management, plays a gay Greek-Australian photographer who uncovers a shocking family secret when he returns to his ancestral homeland in Tony Krawitz’s Dead Europe, which premiered in Toronto. He also has a supporting role in Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man, about a Scotsman who travels to Asia to meet one of the men who tortured him during WW2. Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgård and Jeremy Irvine star in that film that’s slated to bow next year. –Don Groves
Canada, Norway Buy ‘Ripper Street’ Ahead of Mipcom
Adding to deals in the U.S. and Australia, BBC Worldwide has sold crime drama Ripper Street to Canada’s Space and Norway’s NRK ahead of Mipcom which runs October 8-11. The 8-part period series stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg and is written by Richard Warlow. It’s set in London’s East End in 1889 in the wake of the Jack the Ripper murders and centers on the H Division group of detectives who investigated the killings. It’s produced for the BBC by Tiger Aspect Productions, Lookout Point and BBC America and will air on the latter this fall.
Bollywood Embraces IMAX With ‘Dhoom: 3’
India is getting its first Bollywood film in IMAX. The widescreen company and India’s largest film studio, Yash Raj Films, plan to digitally remaster Dhoom: 3 for release in IMAX theaters in India and elsewhere next year. This is the first Indian local-language production to be released in the format. There are 14 IMAX theaters either open or set to open in the nation. Dhoom: 3 is the next installment of the franchise from producer Aditya Chopra and director Vijay Krishna Acharya. Aamir Khan stars in the continuing adventures of Jai Dixit, a no-nonsense cop, and his scatterbrained partner.
With a month to go before the Mipcom TV market kicks off in Cannes, Shine International is undergoing a shift at the top of its ranks. Camilla Hammer, CEO of the sales and distribution arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s …
Anne Sweeney, president of Disney-ABC Television Group, says that TV is about to become the most personal medium in the world, as well as the most powerful. Giving her MIPCOM keynote speech in Cannes this afternoon, Sweeney predicted that TV will be ever more customized by a generation used to watching on smartphones, laptops and tablets. Sweeney said: “It may be impossible to predict what television will look like 5 or 10 years from now — because the odds are, it will look different to everybody.” She also touched on how young people increasingly tweet, blog and email about shows as they watch them. “The more personalized television gets, the less passive the experience will become,” she said. “Television has always been something you watch. Now, increasingly, it’s also something you do.” The Disney-ABC TV boss presented some eye-popping figures: The global TV audience will reach nearly 4 billion people by the end of 2011 –- roughly half of the world’s population. And those 3.7 billion people will watch a total of 4.5 trillion hours of TV this year. She also underlined TV’s importance by quoting approvingly from a recent Deloitte study that concluded, “In today’s world, TV is the medium around which all others revolve.” Here’s the full transcript of Sweeney’s speech:
From the beginning, the television business has always been forward looking – to the next episode, the next season, the next advance in technology that will change everything and take us to a new level.
That’s why I was drawn to it in the first place…and why I continue to love it.
Kevin Reilly, entertainment president of Fox Broadcasting Company, says that building awareness of new shows online before they premiere has become its new mantra. Reilly, giving the keynote this afternoon in Cannes, highlighted the new comedy New Girl as an example of how Fox uses social networks to build awareness. The network pre-released an episode on iTunes and VOD before it even aired the pilot, and got 2 million downloads. Fox has given New Girl an early back-nine pickup after two highly rated airings, bringing the order for the Zooey Deschanel comedy to 24 episodes. Reilly said that Fox really started exploiting social media with Glee. The show was streamed on Hulu before its TV premiere, and songs were pre-released on iTunes to keep social media chatter going. Reilly said: “The series premiered as a bona fide hit, which I am certain would not have been the case had we marketed it in a more traditional way.” Here’s the full transcript of Reilly’s speech:
A common interpretation is that all Hollywood executives are idiots. Granted, I’ve known quite a few who have personally contributed to that interpretation — but it’s not why it continues to ring true.
What it really speaks to is an underlying truth about creativity itself.
And it takes on new meaning in this time of massive, unnerving shifts in the marketplace. Having worked the better part of my 25 year career as a creative executive in our business, there are many days when I know very little. But I remain enamored with creative people and energized by magical moments of inspiration.
I’ve spent a lot of time encouraging, corralling, protecting and sparring with creative people. And I head up a television network– an organization that strives to nurture talent through a process in which their original ideas become a mass appeal product. Unfortunately, through this process, executives often become part of the problem in their attempts to help.
The challenge is that agendas rarely line up.
Bob Bakish, who came aboard as CEO of Viacom International Media Networks in January, used his afternoon keynote at MIPCOM today to tout the “glocal” production model: developing shows locally that are then formatted and resold around the world. American networks are becoming much more responsive to TV shows developed overseas and then imported, he said, giving as an example House of Anubis, a Dutch telenovela picked up by Nickelodeon for the U.S. Launches of non-U.S. shows on the big five American TV networks have quadrupled in five years; last year, 53 non-U.S. shows debuted on networks compared with 12 in 2005. Said Bakish: “It’s critical that we have product that reflects local tastes, but it’s also critical that we capitalize on economies of scale.”
UPDATE: Miramax’s Mike Lang and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Talk Shop; Netflix Adds ‘Lilyhammer’ To TV Lineup
MIPCOM UPDATE: The video of Miramax CEO Mike Lang’s keynote at the Media Mastermind kickoff today is below, including his chat with Neflix’s Ted Sarandos. The two companies have recently partnered up on the digital side, and the studio is in town to drum up worldwide sales for its content in both film and TV.
PREVIOUS: Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, announced in Cannes this afternoon that Netflix is adding Norwegian-produced TV show Lilyhammer to its original programming lineup. Stevie Van Zandt — who so memorably played mob consigliore Silvio Dante in The Sopranos — plays a Mafioso who testified against his former boss in New York and winds up relocated to the Norwegian countryside as part of the Witness Protection Program. Lilyhammer will premiere on Netflix in early 2012, with Netflix acquiring the 8 episodes from the show’s first season as well as the upcoming 8-episode second season. Sarandos, who was being interviewed by Miramax CEO Mike Lang, said that 60% of viewing on Netflix’s newly separated streaming business is for TV episodes, with Mad Men and Breaking Bad being most popular. Deadline understands that Netflix, which is on the hunt for original programming, has also had talks about reviving Arrested Development with 20th Century Fox TV. Netflix surprised Hollywood in March by outbidding major TV networks for the rights to the David Fincher/Kevin Spacey drama House Of Cards.
Lang, meanwhile, said that Miramax is talking to potential partners around the world about the distributor having its own cable network showing the 700 movies in its archives. Miramax signed a long-term deal for its content with Netflix in May, and is partnering with Facebook to launch Miramax Experience, an app that will allow users worldwide to watch its movies. Lang was keen to talk up how Miramax is reinventing itself as an anytime, anywhere distributor. “In a way I’d like to believe our company is a bit more Silicon Valley than Hollywood in that respect,” he said.
Thousands of TV executives from around the world are en route to Cannes for the annual MIPCOM market, which starts on Monday. The great majority of them, who are flying into the nearby Nice airport, were greeted by a group of Pan Am stewardesses — a promotion for the new …