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NEWS & FEATURES

  • Int'l nets add Studio Ghibli's Ronja
    Broadcasters in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Taiwan have acquired a 26-part animated series produced by NHK in Japan with Studio Ghibli and The Astrid Lindgren Company.
  • Will Ferrell backs Amazon economy doc
    Amazon has ordered a documentary series offering a comedic take on the global economy from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, with actor Kal Penn as host.
  • YouTube takes second Step Up
    YouTube Premium (fka YouTube Red) has commissioned a second season of dance drama Step Up: High Water, based on the popular film franchise.
  • BBC2 shifts Gere for MotherFatherSon
    Pretty Woman actor Richard Gere is to return to TV after more than 30 years to star in UK pubcaster BBC2's forthcoming drama MotherFatherSon.
  • Viasat World eyes copro shift
    European pay TV operator Viasat World is looking to board projects at an increasingly early stage to secure regional rights for its networks.
  • UKTV draws on Favourite Sketch
    Multi-channel broadcaster UKTV has commissioned an original series for its Gold network that sees comedians talk about their favourite comedy sketches.
  • UK writers' guild blasts gender disparity
    Only 14% of primetime scripted TV in the UK is written by women, helping to create a “self-sustaining loop” of inequality, according to a report published today.
  • Sky1 tracks down Big Beasts with Offspring
    European satcaster Sky has commissioned a three-part factual series for Sky1 in the UK that looks at some of the world’s largest animals.
  • Hulu, Super Channel meet Okine's Other Guy
    US streamer Hulu and Super Channel in Canada have acquired a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama from Australia created by and starring local comedian Matt Okine.
  • Telemundo, Imagen buy Kanal D dramas
    Broadcasters across Latin America have picked up drama series from Turkish distributor Kanal D International.
  • MTG completes Zoomin buy-out
    Scandinavian media group Modern Times Group has increased its stake in digital content company Zoomin.TV to 100% in a deal worth a total of €17m (US$20m).
  • Nat Geo Kids preps Lat Am puppets
    Nat Geo Kids, the children's channel from National Geographic Partners in Latin America, has ordered an original preschool puppet show for its linear and digital channels.
  • Epsilon signs writing duo for original drama
    Greek commercial broadcaster Epsilon TV has signed an exclusive deal with two of the country’s most prolific scriptwriters as it prepares to push into original drama commissioning for the first time.
  • Netflix to switch on AXN's Ultraviolet
    Netflix has picked up the US and global streaming rights to Polish crime drama Ultraviolet.
  • Rubini upped at TCFTVD
    Ricardo Rubini has been named senior VP of sales, Latin America, at Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution.
  • Love exec takes Shiver development role
    ITV Studios’ factual label Shiver has hired an executive from The Great British Bake Off producer Love Productions as head of development.
  • C4 to refloat Shipwrecked
    UK commercial pubcaster Channel 4 has ordered a return of reality competition series Shipwrecked for its youth-skewing network E4.
  • NextUp expands Amazon distribution
    NEWS BRIEF: Comedy-focused UK streamer NextUp has expanded its distribution agreement with Amazon by launching on Amazon Fire TV.
  • Int'l networks meet Henry again
    Broadcasters including Nick Jr, RTÉ in Ireland, ABC in Australia and TVP in Poland have renewed their deals with Irish distributor Monster Entertainment to air the latest season of The Day Henry Met…
  • BBC3 ready to Face the Consequences
    BBC3 in the UK has commissioned a shortform factual series that brings young people face to face with those who have been affected by their actions.

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

  • Fear and funding With broadcaster cash becoming harder to secure and budgets fluctuating wildly, Canada’s non-fiction producers are increasingly looking to factual funds to get their projects made.
  • Playing Ball Bunim/Murray Productions is behind one of Facebook’s most popular original series. Julie Pizzi reveals the genesis of Ball in the Family.
  • Vertical thinking Marc Berman offers his take on the new crop of pilots heading into the Upfronts, and finds that this year it’s all about ownership, reboots and female-helmed dramas.
  • Pointing the way Next-generation studio Indigenous Media has joined up with Scandal star Kerry Washington to launch a drama on Facebook Watch.
  • Middle ground Turkish imports plus a lack of local commissioners have made the Middle East a tough place for scripted producers. But there are reasons for optimism.
  • Baring FAANGs As Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google step up their efforts to reach children, should the industry be welcoming, wary or worried?
  • Out of this world Live event shows and rights negotiations with streamers were high on the factual agenda at a soggy MipTV and MipDoc in Cannes.
  • Facing up to Facebook As Facebook steps up its efforts to attract viewers, the industry remains torn on whether mass migration to mobile will sound the death knell for traditional TV.
  • Alive and kicking MIPTV: Live-action scripted programming was top of the agenda for children's buyers in Cannes this week as the genre enjoys a shot in the arm thanks to SVoD. Nico Franks reports.
  • Rights still reign MIPTV: The continuing surge in the quantity and quality of drama didn't stop rights being the talk of the town at MipTV.