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ITVS pre-sells dramas, shops formats

Suranne Jones in forthcoming ITVS drama Vigil

Broadcasters across the globe have pre-bought dramas Vigil and The Pembrokeshire Murders from ITV Studios (ITVS), which has also made further sales of formats Love Island, The Voice Senior and Beat the Chasers.

Speaking at ITVS’s Fall Festival press breakfast today, global distribution MD Ruth Berry revealed that the territory premiere rights to Vigil, which will debut on BBC1 in the UK, have been acquired by BBC Studios Australia, with broadcaster SBS taking the free TV premiere window.

The 6×60’ thriller series, which stars Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, Gentleman Jack), sees two seemingly disparate events – the disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death aboard a Trident nuclear submarine – bring the police into direct conflict with the navy and British security services.

True crime drama The Pembrokeshire Murders, meanwhile, has been picked up by Canal+ in Poland and licensed to the BBC for BBC Player in Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Coproduced by BritBox, the 3×60’ series will exclusively premiere on the ITV and BBC joint-venture streamer in the US and Canada.

Starring Luke Evans and based on the book of the same name by Steve Wilkins and Jonathan Hill, The Pembrokeshire Murders tells the story of the cold-case pursuit of the most notorious serial killer in Welsh history.

Both shows, which are produced by World Productions (Line of Duty, Bodyguard), have also been pre-bought by VRT in Belgium, NPO in the Netherlands, Denmark’s DR, Finland’s YLE, Norway’s NRK and SVT in Sweden.

“We are really excited to license these two different but equally gripping dramas to partners worldwide. World Productions’ reputation for making thrilling content is truly global, and both Vigil and The Pembrokeshire Murders are really powerful stories,” Berry said.

Also at ITVS’s Fall Festival press breakfast, global entertainment president Maarten Meijs revealed that hit dating format Love Island has been picked up by Atresmedia in Spain, to be produced by Boomerang, and by Digital Play in Nigeria for terrestrial network TVC and digital channel 9 Vision Media.

The latest two commissions take the number of versions of the format to 17 and mark the first Spanish-language edition and first commission in Africa.

Meanwhile, The Voice Senior has been commissioned in Italy by Rai Uno and in Brazil by Globo, taking the total number of versions of the show – which is a spin-off from singing competition format The Voice – to 14 since its launch two years ago.

Finally, MTV3 in Finland has commissioned a local version of Beat the Chasers, to be produced by ITV Studios Finland. The format is a spin-off from hit quizshow The Chase.


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