Michael Minden has been hired as SVP Business Affairs and Head of Entertainment Legal and Yvonne Rena Bennett has been named VP Business Affairs at Shine America. Minden, previously SVP and Deputy General Counsel at Viacom Media Networks, will serve as a senior negotiator and business advisor to the company and oversee all entertainment-related legal matters. Bennett joins Shine from A+E Television Networks where she served as VP Business & Legal Affairs, She will be the primary business affairs executive for Shine 360, handling product integrations, ancillary licensing, marketing and other related matters.
Fox has given an eight-episode order to Slide Show, an unscripted comedy from Shine America and Steve Carell. It is based on international format Anything Goes, originally created by Arthur Essebag for French-based production company Satisfaction, The Television Agency. Slide Show pits two teams — featuring the nation’s funniest celebrities and comedians — against each other in a series of showdowns designed to hilariously test mind and body. Throughout the game, the competitors must think on their feet as the teams face unpredictable song, dance and sketch challenges, often while navigating the show’s trademark one-of-a-kind set, tilted at a 22.5 degree angle. “I think unscripted television should be outrageous and audacious by definition. Unfortunately, not much is, as of late,” said Reilly. “Slide Show is the most ridiculously fun and out-there thing I’ve seen in quite awhile.” Added Carell, “Comedy is subjective, but if you don’t find Slide Show to be funny and enormously entertaining, then you will never be my friend.”
FX formally announced today that its freshman cross-border drama The Bridge will be coming back for another season. The 13-episodes of the not unexpected second season will premiere next summer, the network says. Season 1 of the U.S./Mexico crime show wraps up on October 2. “We’ve been blown away by the compelling performances of Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger and the writing of Meredith Stiehm, Elwood Reid and their team, and are thrilled to be able to continue this journey for another season,” said Eric Schrier, President of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions in a statement today. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Rich Ross, Carolyn Bernstein and everyone at Shine America.” Also today, Fox International Channels, which rolled out Season 1 around the world this summer, picked up the exclusive pay-TV rights for Season 2 in 125 countries.
Broadchurch has often been referred to as Britain’s answer to The Killing; it’s also ITV‘s biggest new drama since Downton Abbey. But there are no dinner jackets or Dowagers here. In a reversal of established thinking that period dramas are the major game in town, this contemporary drama has gripped Britain since it debuted in March. ITV has just ordered a second season of the show which concluded its first season on Monday night. Anticipation for that finale episode was so high, it was worthy of “Who shot J.R.?” comparisons. BBC America has U.S. rights to the eight-part murder mystery that stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman at the head of an ensemble cast. The first season’s story explored what happens to a small coastal community when a media frenzy comes to town after a young boy is murdered.
At launch, Broadchurch drew 9.1M viewers for a 31% share and continued to pull strong numbers throughout the run. The mystery surrounding the death of little Danny Latimer kept Britons in thrall until it was resolved in Monday night’s closing episode, and reviews have been largely positive. BBC America will air the series later this year and Shine America holds the format rights in the U.S. Production on season two starts in 2014, although plot details and returning characters are being kept under wraps.
Veteran unscripted TV executive and producer Kate Shepherd has joined Shine America as VP Development. Shepherd, who most recently was the executive producer and showrunner on the first season of CW/BBC Worldwide Prods’ reality series Breaking Pointe, will oversee development of unscripted programming from within the global Shine Group and work with third-party producers. She will report to Chris Culvenor, Shine America’s SVP Unscripted Development.
Shine America is launching Shine Hispanic & Latin America, a new division that will develop and produce original Spanish-language content for the U.S. and Latin American marketplaces. Veteran Colombian TV producer and executive Cristina Palacio has been named president of the new division, reporting to Shine America CEO Rich Ross.
Black, as well as Jake Johnson, Molly Shannon, Jason Schwartzman and other celebrities, are set to make cameo appearances in Ghost Ghirls, a comedic take on popular paranormal procedurals like Medium and Ghost Whisperer. The project, originally developed as a TV series for Syfy last year, chronicles the antics of two young female ghostbusters, played by Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci (two-women improv show BEANS!) — a pair of investigators attempting to solve the mysteries behind paranormal phenomena. At the same time, they attempt to convince their clients, other-worldly visitors and themselves that they are legit.
Former Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross is returning to television, this time on the production side. Ross has been named CEO of Shine America, taking the reins of the U.S. outpost of Elisabeth Murdoch‘s Shine Group. He will start in January. Ross had a very successful run as President of Disney Channels Worldwide, overseeing global hits like Hannah Montana and High School Musical, before he moved to the feature side in 2009 for a rocky two-and-a-half-year term that ended in April.
At Shine America, Ross will replace current CEO Carl Fennessy. Fennessy, formerly co-CEO of Shine Australia, was brought to the U.S. in mid-2011 to succeed then-Shine Americas CEO Emiliano Calemzuk when he left in January 2012. After helping Ross with the transition, Fennessy will return to Australia where he will resume his duties as co-CEO of Shine Australia.
Ross and Shine Group chairman Murdoch have known each other for 20 years. “Rich is a world-class executive and the ideal leader to build on our extraordinary momentum at Shine America. We all welcome him warmly,” she said. “On behalf of everyone at Shine, I would like to thank Carl for his outstanding leadership over the last 18 months. He will be missed in America as much as he will be welcomed home in Australia.”
Shine America’s slate includes unscripted series MasterChef on Fox and The Biggest Loser on NBC, which will soon be joined by The Face on Oxygen. The company, whose scripted series originally consisted of Reveille’s The Office and The Tudors, has been ramping up scripted development and recently landed its first scripted pilot, The Bridge on FX, and first Spanish-language production, Minuto Para Ganar on MundoFOX. The company also recently launched New York-based format label Ardaban.