The UK’s Channel 4 has picked up a US doc on an obese woman accused of killing her nephew, and commissioned a new series on the British emergency services.
Half Ton Killer is produced by Megalomedia UK and Rize and follows Mayra Rosales through the American legal process after she is accused of beating to death her two-year-old nephew in 2008.
Rosales is the world’s heaviest woman weighing in at around 78 stone (500kg) and was completely bed ridden and totally immobile at the time of the crime.
Her defence team imposed a complete lock out on all media, except one American film crew that had access to Rosales and her family throughout the trial. Channel 4 will air the film in January.
The UK terrestrial is also preparing a 10-part series on the country’s emergency services. Three Nines (wt) from Blast! Films will follow the ambulance, police and fire services in the northern seaside town of Blackpool.
The series will be executive produced by Guy Davies and Edmund Coulthard.
C4 has also commissioned Pioneer Productions to make two fast-turnaround docs.
The Year the Earth Went Wild will look back at all the natural disasters that have occurred in 2011, and Predators in Paradise lifts the lid on a spate of animal attacks on holiday makers that happened during the summer.
Mentorn International is distributing both shows.
The latest commissions come as C4 yesterday pledged to increase its programming spend to an all-time high of £600m (US$961m) next year. It also unveiled an overhaul of diginet More 4 that will see it focus more on lifestyle programming, while international documentaries strand True Stories moves to the terrestrial channel.
In related news C4 has also increased its funding of the Britdoc Foundation by a third. Since providing funding to launch the foundation, which has funded 60 independent films since 2005, C4 has renewed its deal at regular intervals and will now provide cash through to the end of 2013.