Warner Bros-owned Shed Media Group has named Leanne Klein CEO of its production subsidiary Wall to Wall as current chief and founder Alex Graham exits. Wall to Wall creative director Klein will take over from Graham who will remain connected to the company as an executive producer on TLC’s U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? which Graham created. Klein has been at Wall to Wall, producer of The Voice UK, since 1995 and recently exec produced Hitchcock biopic The Girl. She has also overseen such programs as Long Lost Family, The Young Ones, Child Genius and The Voice UK. Graham founded Wall to Wall in 1987 and sold the company to Shed in 2007. Warner Bros acquired Shed in 2010.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ To UK’s Channel 4; Henry Winkler-Penned Kids Books In TV Deal; ‘Voice UK’: More
Britain’s Channel 4 has taken UK premiere broadcast rights to fall comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The series from Dan Goor and Michael Schur is being handled internationally by NBCUniversal International Television Distribution. Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher star. It debuts on Channel 4’s E4 in January in the UK. The show kicked off on Fox in the U.S. on Wednesday night.
The Voice UK has lined up Ricky Wilson as the fourth coach to sit in a red chair for the upcoming third seaon. Lead singer of Britsh band Kaiser Chiefs, Wilson has worked with the BBC before, hosting Never Mind The Buzzcocks and T In The Park. As previously announced, Kylie Minogue is joining the competition series and Tom Jones and will.i.am are returning.
BBC children’s channel CBBC has commissioned a new comedy/drama series to feature Henry Winkler. Hank Zipzer, from DHX Media and Walker Productions, will be produced by Kindle Entertainment. The 13-episode show will air on CBBC in 2014. It’s inspired by the book series Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Underachiever, which Winkler wrote with Lin Oliver. The TV project will follow 12-year-old Hank, a smart and resourceful dyslexic boy with a unique perspective on the world. When problems arise, he deals with them in a way no one else would – putting him on a direct collision course with his teachers and parents.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Pedro Almodóvar Set For Career Honor At EFA Awards; Senator Backs Bille August’s ‘Beware Of Pity; More
Pedro Almodóvar Set For Career Honor From European Film Academy
Pedro Almodóvar will receive the European Achievement in World Cinema award at the 26th European Film Awards in December. The European Film Academy is feting the filmmaker for his body of work, including Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – his 1988 breakout film – All About My Mother, Talk To Her and this year’s I’m So Excited. “I am very thankful for this award,” Almodóvar said in a statement. “From its creation, the European Film Academy has been very generous with me and my closest collaborators. I share with them the joy of this award.” He will receive the award December 7 at the the EFA Awards in Berlin.
Senator Film To Finance Bille August’s ‘Beware Of Pity’
Germany’s Senator Film is backing the latest feature adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s Beware Of Pity. Danish helmer Bille August will direct. August is reteaming with his Night Train To Lisbon and Goodbye Bafana screenwriter Greg Latter, who is penning the transfer. This will be the second feature based on prolific Austrian author Zweig’s Beware Of Pity. The first was in 1946, starring German actress Lilli Palmer. Published in 1938, the book tells the story of a young lieutenant who takes pity on a paralyzed girl. He cares for her and she falls in love, but he doesn’t share her strong feelings. When she learns the truth, she makes a fateful decision. There is no cast yet, but international talent is expected to join the English-language project. Shooting starts in 2014 in Bavaria, Austria and Hungary. The film will open in Germany in 2015 through Senator. Lars Sylvest and Helge Sasse are producers. French director Patrice Leconte recently adapted Zweig’s A Promise as his first English-language film. That project drew Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman and Richard Madden.
It’s still missing a 4th mentor, but The Voice UK has confirmed the return of will.i.am and Tom Jones for Season 3. The show has also set pop icon Kylie Minogue for her first go-round in a …
As Simon Cowell put it yesterday, Britain’s Got Talent has “gotten some stick” in the past few weeks. Viewers have reacted to what they perceive as inappropriate acts on the show, and also to the fact that some current contestants have previously appeared on TV. Cowell took to Twitter on Sunday to address the latter complaints, saying, “We try and have a no rules policy on the show… Would it be right to say to someone who has appeared on a show before you can’t audition?” Referring to BGT‘s biggest breakout star, he added, “I believe Susan Boyle had appeared on another tv show years ago. Nothing happened. Bgt gave her another go. Is that wrong? I am not whining. Simply wanted to explain there is no hush hush plot. I just think everyone deserves a second chance.”
Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent returned to ITV with much fanfare on Saturday night, beating rival BBC show The Voice UK and causing some controversy in the process. BGT had its second biggest launch in seven years scoring an average 10.5M viewers and peaking at just over 13M. Only the 2010 start was bigger with a 10.6M average.
But two acts have been deemed inappropriate by some in the Twittersphere and by a group that campaigns for family values in the media. The performances in question saw an 11-year-old girl sing the one-night-stand-themed “One Night Only” from Dreamgirls, while a 40-something woman did a semi-striptease and gave Cowell a mini-lapdance. Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch UK, told The Daily Mail that ITV appeared “to have completely ignored” guidelines set up by regulator Ofcom which has warned broadcasters about sexually explicit content ahead of the 9 PM watershed. But an ITV spokesman tells Deadline, “In its seventh series, Britain’s Got Talent celebrates variety and showcases a wide range of different acts. Mindful of our family audience, the performance was carefully edited to ensure it was suitably inexplicit.” Ahead of this weekend’s controversy, an ITV source told me the network chose to air BGT at 7 PM despite a clash with the BBC’s The Voice, because otherwise it “would have had to go late” and risk losing the family audience.
Makers Of ‘Rake’, ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Feted
Australia’s Essential Media and Entertainment, producers of TV legal drama The Rake and Saving Mr. Banks, the film about Australian author P.L. Travers and the making of Mary Poppins starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, has been named Independent Producer of the Year. The award was made by the Screen Producers Association of Australia. Essential and Sony Pictures TV are planning a U.S. pilot remake of Rake for Fox Broadcasting starring Greg Kinnear. Headed by Chris Hilton, Ian Collie, Sonja Armstrong and Carmel Travers, Essential Media’s slate also includes the Jack Irish crime drama telemovies starring Guy Pearce for Australia’s ABC, My Brother, the Serial Killer for Discovery Channel, and Raising The Curtain, a celebration of Australia’s history of live theater. - Don Groves
Has Simon Cowell blinked? With BBC One’s The Voice UK steadily gaining on Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent over on ITV, the latter network will step out of the line of fire for upcoming episodes. Beginning April 21, BGT will kick off 30 minutes later than it has for the past several weeks, and 10 minutes after The Voice ends. ITV originally set a challenge to The Voice when it moved BGT ahead several weeks so the two shows would debut on the same night. This had followed an earlier bidding war in which both networks were vying for broadcast rights to The Voice. BGT also brought back Cowell as a judge this year in a widely touted move.
As I reported on Tuesday, although BGT’s ratings were originally ahead of The Voice, the BBC One show beat BGT in the overall ratings for the first time this past Saturday and has been steadily adding viewers over its three frames. Key however is the fact that the shows only overlapped for a 20-minute period with The Voice airing from 7-8:20pm and BGT from 8-9:20pm. It’s that 20-minute space where The Voice has soared past BGT each week,