Shine-owned production company Kudos has partnered with Imaginary Friends Productions for an exclusive two-year, first-look deal. Imaginary Friends is run by Broadchurch writer and exec producer Chris Chibnall. He’s coming off the first season of the hit ITV show which had all of Britain engrossed. Kudos will have first crack at co-developing and co-producing Chibnall’s new scripted projects. As with Broadchurch, he would exec produce alongside Kudos CEO Jane Featherstone. Shine International will rep sales. Broadchurch was renewed for a second season and will air in the U.S later this year on BBC America. Chibnall previously worked with Kudos as a writer on Life On Mars and a showrunner on Law & Order: UK.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Shine Int’l Makes CEO Permanent; New Download/Streaming Service Headed For UK
Shine International Takes Interim Tag Off Nohr
More than eight months after Nadine Nohr stepped in as interim CEO at Shine International, the company has made her gig permanent. Two years ago, the exec supervised the unit’s revamp and relocation. She began as a consultant to Shine International, the sales and distribution arm of the Shine Group, in 2011. Her resume includes a dozen years at Granada International.
The new memorandum of understanding should end a suit in Delaware’s Chancery Court that stemmed from News Corp’s $675M acquisition of Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group. Shareholders led by Amalgamated Bank charged that the high price showed that her dad, Rupert, “has operated News Corp. as his own private fiefdom with little or no effective oversight from the board.” Under the settlement, News Corp walks away with no admission of wrongdoing — but also agreeing to governance practices that enhance the power of independent directors, provide more transparency about the company’s political contributions, and encourage anonymous whistleblowing. Due to the unusual way the case was structured — Amalgamated sued the board on behalf of News Corp — the company will collect $139M from insurance proceeds. The agreement ends a headache for News Corp as it prepares to split into two companies: one featuring its entertainment assets and the other with publishing ones including The Wall Street Journal. News Corp says that it already has begun to modernize its governance and has “committed to building on those efforts going forward.”
Prime Focus Pulls Into China; UK May Shore Up VFX Industry
The gloomy VFX scene saw a few bright spots in the international market today. In the UK, the 2013 budget was unveiled and along with it, news that the Treasury will launch a public consultation on options to provide further support for the VFX industry via the tax system. In total, the creative industries received an extra £25M to help boost economic growth. Meanwhile, VFX specialist Prime Focus said it is setting up a Chinese joint venture with Hong Kong–based private equity group AID Partners and local partner Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua Chuanbo Company. Prime Focus, which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and has offices in the U.S., Canada, the UK and India, will invest $3M in the new operation which will provide services including 2D/3D conversion, VFX and post-production services on the mainland and in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. At the same time, AID, whose investments include Legendary Pictures and HMV Asia, has invested $10M in Prime Focus’ Netherlands subsidiary, Prime Focus World NV. The group’s credits include Shrek, Transformers 3, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Smurfs and Men In Black 3.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Mark Wahlberg On Canadian Film Tax Incentives, Shine Group & Adrian Steirn, Australia’s Ten Network, Prime TV New Zealand
Mark Wahlberg Calls On Canada To Restore Film Tax Incentives
Mark Wahlberg is urging the Canadian government to restore federal tax incentives for film production. “We are really trying to encourage the government to reinstate these tax incentives to bring film and cinema back to Canada,” Wahlberg told The Globe And Mail in Toronto. Wahlberg, who has made seven movies in Canada, says a steady reduction in government tax subsidies means fewer Hollywood projects will be made there. Wahlberg’s Canadian-shot films include Fear, Shooter, The Big Hit, and Max Payne.
London, UK (19 November, 2012) — Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has appointed Richard Parsons as senior vice president for corporate business and legal affairs, international production, it was announced today. In this role, Parsons will lead corporate business affairs for SPT’s portfolio of international production companies and manage deal executions on acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships.
Parsons will report to Corii Berg, SPT’s senior executive vice president, business affairs, in Los Angeles. He takes up his role later this month and will be based at SPT’s London office.
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
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.
Three years after her brother James Murdoch delivered the keynote MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Elisabeth Murdoch put her own mark on the event Thursday evening. The first woman to deliver the address in 17 years, she said in her opening remarks that being asked to give the speech was an honor and “a massive pain in the ass.” However, she allowed, “Writing a MacTaggart has been quite a welcome distraction from some of the other nightmares much closer to home. Yes, you have met some of my family before – the committee may be less than keen on women, but by god, you do love a Murdoch.” She spoke fondly of her background and her family – while taking a dig here and there – and also addressed some of the issues facing News Corp, which owns the Shine production group that she founded in 2001, as well as calling out her brother and urging her peers to connect with their audience.
Of her somewhat controversial decision to sell Shine to News Corp. last year, Murdoch said, “After various considerations it became clear to me that News Corp. was the best strategic home for us. Now, I can almost hear you thinking ‘No shit, Sherlock,’ but in many ways it was the very last place I wanted to go. I really hadn’t spent 12 years on my own just to do what was expected of me. But there was, and still is, irresistible logic to it.”
“Obviously News is also a company that is currently asking itself some very significant and difficult questions about how some behaviors fell so far short of its values,” she said. “Personally, I believe one of the biggest lessons of the past year has been the need for any organization to discuss, affirm and institutionalize a rigorous set of values based on an explicit statement of purpose.”
The promotion was confirmed today by Shine’s founder Elisabeth Murdoch who has served as both Chairman and CEO since the company’s inception in 2001. Alex Mahon will assume full responsibility for day to day management of the 28 operating companies within Shine Group. Murdoch will continue as Group Chairman leading Shine’s creative talent, culture and strategy. The changes are effective from September.
LONDON, March 12 2012: Shine Group today announced a restructure of its UK senior management that sees Princess Productions and Kudos Chief Executive’s Henrietta Conrad and Jane Featherstone assuming joint responsibility for the UK as Joint Chairmen.
In addition to their current roles as Chief Executives of Kudos and Princess Productions, UK based company Dragonfly will report to Featherstone who will continue to oversee comedy and drama labels Brown Eyed Boy and Lovely Day. Shine TV will report to Conrad who also becomes its Chief Executive.
The restructure sees Joint Managing Directors of Shine TV, Jamie Munro and Karen Smith choosing to step down from their positions with neither being replaced.
LONDON, FEBRUARY 27 2012: Shine Network, the Shine Group division responsible for the international development, acceleration and editorial stewardship of formats that include MasterChef, The Biggest Loser, One Born Every Minute, Got To Dance and The Magicians, has promoted Paula Warwick to Head of International Productions, it was announced today.
Warwick is currently Creative Director at Shine Network. Her promotion, which takes place with immediate effect, will see her continue to work with all of the Shine Group companies and international production partners, producing formats for different markets and acting as a consultant executive producer on formats licensed to third-party producers.
MIPCOM Briefs: ITV Sells NBC’s ‘Prime Suspect’ To 30 Territories; Overseas Buyers Get ‘Happily Divorced’
The international TV market got underway in Cannes this morning with a flurry of announcements. Here are a few titbits:
– ITV Studios Global Entertainment, the TV distribution arm of the Brit broadcaster, has sold the new NBC version of Prime Suspect to over 30 territories worldwide. This is despite the show teetering on the verge of cancellation in the U.S. ITV, which co-produced the remake with Universal Media Studios, has licensed the Maria Bello vehicle to broadcasters including Nine (Australia), TVNZ (New Zealand) and TV3 (Ireland). Prime Suspect drew an underwhelming 1.5 18-49 rating in its second week on NBC. My colleague Nellie Andreeva reports that NBC’s chief Bob Greenblatt is willing to give the struggling show, which got mostly positive reviews, a bit more time.
– Meanwhile Shine International, the TV distribution arm of News Corp’s Shine Group, has licensed more than 200 hours of programming to Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic. It’s the biggest commission Shine has brokered with DLA/USH to date, and includes cooking competition show MasterChef, game show The Biggest Loser, and unscripted format One Born Every Minute.