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From coproduction and co-finance to the latest development news from Hollywood to Bollywood, C21Drama keeps you up to date with what’s happening in scripted entertainment worldwide. C21’s Drama Weekly carries further coverage of this sector.

Section editor
Ed Waller
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Netflix historical drama The Crown and Apple TV+'s comedy Ted Lasso were the big winners at the 2021 Emmy Awards held in Los Angeles last night.
NBCUniversal-owned US streamer Peacock and NENT Group streamer Viaplay have commissioned a limited thriller series from MGM International TV Productions.
Icelandic prodco Sagafilm has partnered with LittleBig Productions in Sweden to develop a drama series inspired by the true, untold stories of the European slave trade.
Lionsgate-owned streaming service Starzplay and Spanish-language streamer Pantaya have partnered once again with European production group Fremantle and Chilean prodco Fabula on the Spanish-language sci-fi thriller El Refugio.
Netflix has signed Schitt’s Creek creator, showrunner and star Dan Levy to an overall deal through which he will write and produce scripted content and work on other creative projects.
Netflix has ordered a ‘non-linear’ crime thriller series from Ridley Scott’s prodco Scott Free.
Lionsgate Play, the SVoD service from Lionsgate India and Lionsgate-owned Starz, has expanded its reach in Asia after partnering with Telekom Malaysia.
Vincent Bollore’s Vivendi, owner of French pay TV operator Canal+, has acquired another stake in local production firm Lagardère.
A language learning app that uses TV shows and movies to help people learn a new language has acquired a range of programming from ZDF Enterprises in Germany.
RTS: Chief content officer for HBO and HBO Max, Casey Bloys, refused to be drawn on whether streamers’ thirst for rights will put an end to coproductions in the future.
Canada’s Boat Rocker is continuing to expand its roster of partnerships with international talent, inking an overall deal with producer-director Scott Weintrob and his LA-based production outfit Large Eyes.
ViacomCBS-owned streamer Paramount+ in the US has ordered Skymed, a scripted medical adventure series following air ambulance pilots pulling off high-stakes rescue missions.
RTS: Chief executive of Ofcom Dame Melanie Dawes has shut down claims that the UK media regulator’s independence is in danger.
UK prime minster Boris Johnson has appointed Nadine Dorries MP as the latest secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport.
RTS: Kevin Mayer, chairman of sports streaming service DAZN, has set out his aims for the "next generation" media company he has launched with former Disney exec Tom Staggs, following its purchase of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.
Nordic Entertainment Group is merging its companies Brain Academy and Nice Drama and bringing them together with Viaplay Studios Animation and Paprika Studios in a new organisation called Viaplay Studios.
RTS: The director general of the BBC Tim Davie has refuted claims the pubcaster offers poor value for viewers despite the loss of many home-grown stars to global VoD platforms, such as Phoebe Waller Bridge signing a deal with Amazon.
Cameron Roach, outgoing director of drama at European pay TV broadcaster Sky, has launched a new production company called Rope Ladder Fiction.
US-based global streaming giant Netflix has commissioned a new thriller drama series, Devil in Ohio, starring Emily Deschanel (Bones).
Australian creatives based in Queensland are adapting two stories from Canada-based digital storytelling platform Wattpad.
ViacomCBS-owned broadcaster BET in the US is launching a studio division that it says will give black creators more equity ownership in the TV and film projects they create.
RTS: UK commercial broadcaster ITV is examining different windowing options for its original shows as it invests more in its direct-to-consumer digital offering, according to CEO Carolyn McCall.
RTS: The CEO of UK pay TV broadcaster Sky has declined to say whether its parent company, Comcast, would consider buying pubcaster Channel 4, as the UK government continues to push for its privatisation.
RTS: A privatised Channel 4 would mean programming such as Russell T Davies’ hit drama It’s a Sin would not be made, according to its CEO, Alex Mahon
RTS: HiddenLight Productions, the UK- and US-based prodco started by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton with Sam Branson, has optioned the Maisie Dobbs series of novels by Jacqueline Winspear.
TF1 Group-owned Newen has taken a majority stake in Berlin-based prodco Flare Film, marking the French production group's first move into the German market.
RTS: The BBC’s licence fee contributes to fighting “media poverty” because it provides educational and informative content at a lower price point than its competitors, the UK pubcaster’s chairman Richard Sharp has said.
LA-based Latinx-focused media company Mucho Mas Media has partnered with UK-based streaming tech specialist Digital Media Distribution to launch a lifestyle and entertainment VoD platform in Latin America.
RTS: Discussion around the privatisation of commercially funded UK pubcaster Channel 4 should not become “insular and parochial,” according to YouTube UK and Ireland’s managing director Ben McOwen Wilson.
RTS: The next trend in the streaming space will be commerce, according to YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl.
US streaming company Cinedigm has appointed former Discovery and Disney executive John Canning as its new chief financial officer to support its growth plans.
US production, finance and management firm The Cartel has hired former Reel One Entertainment executive Lexi Lewis as its director of development.
CONECTA: Global SVoD platform Amazon Prime Video is looking to ramp up its library of locally produced Spanish originals to cater to the US Hispanic market.
France TV Distribution has acquired upcoming drama series Two Summers and Vortex, which it will launch at Mipcom next month.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s scripted production company SunnyMarch has sold a minority stake to Sébastien Raybaud’s production and financing company Anton.
Turkish network Kanal D Drama has launched an SVoD platform dedicated exclusively to local dramas dubbed in Spanish.
The BBC and Comcast-owned Sky have renewed and expanded their long-term strategic partnership to give the UK pubcaster greater prominence on Sky platforms.
The UK government's culture secretary will set out his support for the privatisation of Channel 4 at the Royal Television Society Convention later today.
Israeli pubcaster Kan 11 has greenlit an eight-part supernatural thriller from Our Boys co-creator Noah Stollman, produced by A+E Studios and ViacomCBS’ Ananey Studios.
Amazon in the UK has greenlit a doc feature about British YouTuber KSI produced by Louis Theroux, as well as psychological thriller about a twisted love story.
US free-to-air network The CW has nabbed the US broadcast rights to Leonine Studios’ action series Professionals.
Long-running comic book Grendel is being adapted as an eight-part series by Netflix.
Middle Eastern production house Arab Telemedia Group is prepping a slate of projects covering historical, comedic, Bedouin, sci-fi and contemporary genres.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's prodco Westbrook Studios, reportedly the subject of an imminent takeover, has appointed former Vice exec Jannat Gargi as senior VP and head of documentaries.
CONECTA: Spanish pubcaster RTVE is poised to join European fiction coproduction partnership The Alliance, its director of content Amalia Martinez de Velazco told the opening day of copro event Conecta Fiction yesterday.
LA-based distributor Dynamic Television has hired former Netflix executive Julie Anthony as head of French originals and European coproductions.
Former HBO Europe executives Wayne Henry and Alina David have launched a Romanian indie named EastWest
Christian Rank, head of drama at Danish public broadcaster DR, is stepping down after three years in the role.
Japanese entertainment company Nippon TV is launching a scripted series and an entertainment format on the international market as part of its autumn slate following their debut on the company’s domestic channel.
The AVoD partnership set up between UK-based financer and distributor Arrested Industries (fka Fugitive) and Turkish digital content curation firm Merzigo last year has made its first major deal, acquiring almost 3,000 hours from Spanish broadcaster RTVE.
Reed Midem has confirmed that Mipcom 2021 will take place as a physical event next month alongside a digital version, with Netflix, WarnerMedia and the BBC among the buyers attending in person.
Israel-based Keshet Media Group’s investment fund Stardom Ventures has raised over US$65m aimed at growing local media and tech start-ups.
Canada-headquartered Boat Rocker and actor Lena Headey’s Peephole Productions are in development on a TV adaptation of Nikita Gill’s The Girl & the Goddess.
US-based streaming giant Netflix has signed a multi-year partnership with Anna Winger, creator of Unorthodox and Deutschland 83, and her production company Airlift Productions.
Paramount chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos is stepping down as head of Paramount Pictures, with ViacomCBS’s kids and family entertainment president Brian Robbins set to take the reins, according to reports.
PBS-owned drama strand Masterpiece, UK broadcaster ITV and Poldark prodco Mammoth Screen are joining forces on a four-part miniseries adapting Henry Fielding’s classic novel The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling.
Arctic drama series The North Water (5x60’), which premieres tonight on UK pubcaster BBC2, has clocked up 38 international territories ranging from Australia to Japan, BBC Studios confirmed today.
CONTENT UKRAINE: Ukraine’s TV industry has “very high” potential thanks to advantages like low production costs, but more investment needs to be made in infrastructure, the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky told C21.
ViacomCBS and its MTV Entertainment arm have inked an exclusive overall deal for original scripted and unscripted series with British actor David Oyelowo (Selma) and British actor and singer Jessica Oyelowo.
CONTENT UKRAINE: Ukrainian producers have forecast a shift in domestic viewer habits away from hard-hitting social drama towards more light-hearted content.
Former MGM/UA president Steve Stark, whose credits include dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale, has unveiled the senior creative team at his recently launched prodco Toluca Pictures.
Canada-headquartered Boat Rocker Media has inked a first-look deal with US producer Stephanie Langhoff and her newly launched production outfit, High Tide Productions.
UK production company Projector Pictures has secured the rights to a trilogy of spy thrillers written by author and journalist Charlotte Philby, granddaughter of Cold War spy Kim Philby.
SERIES MANIA: The 2022 edition of Series Mania will once again be held in Lille, France, in March after its recent hybrid event attracted more than 54,000 participants.
Fremantle-backed Nordic production company Miso Film has appointed Max Hallén as managing director.
Exports of French programmes reached a record-breaking high last year despite the coronavirus pandemic, amounting to a cash flow of €354.8m (US$407m), according to a report.
Asia Pacific will account for 698 million SVoD subscriptions by 2026, up from 502 million by the end of 2021, according to a report by UK analysis firm Digital TV Research.
The distribution arm of European production group All3Media has appointed former Kew Media Distribution executive Jennifer Askin as its senior VP for North America.
CONTENT UKRAINE: Ukrainian broadcasting executives have insisted linear TV still has a major role to play in their market, even as they diversify into OTT content, and see international coproduction as a key strategy for the future.
Roku has confirmed it will revive the recently cancelled musical dramedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist with a Christmas-themed movie.
Agatha Raisin prodco [email protected] TV has bagged adaptation rights to the series of Rockstar Ending novels by author NA Rossi for a returnable TV series.
HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer streaming platform, will launch in Europe on October 26 with Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Andorra its first territories.
The forthcoming US version of French spy drama The Bureau, from ViacomCBS, is set to be joined by multiple other international remakes, according to its producers Federation Entertainment and The Oligarchs Productions.
NBCUniversal International Networks in Spain, SBS in Australia and Mediaset in Italy are among the international broadcasters to have ordered the French remake of BBC thriller series Keeping Faith.
Former A+E Networks executive Hayley Babcock has launched a new media consultancy firm, starting with a deal with Scottish indie Two Rivers Media to ramp up its expansion into the US market.
European pay TV broadcaster Sky has hired Preethi Mavahalli from ITV Studios-backed Mammoth Screen to lead its in-house drama commissioning team.
Banijay Nordic today announces a new senior appointment at Norwegian scripted label Rubicon, with Håkon Briseid taking up the role of CEO.
NENT-owned Nordic streamer Viaplay has commissioned a series adaptation of children’s fantasy book Ronja the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren that has been scripted by The Bridge creator Hans Rosenfeldt.
Cineflix Rights has entered into a financing and development agreement with Glasgow-based producer Synchronicity Films and Sydney-based Dragonet Films to develop a TV adaptation of author Shankari Chandran’s debut novel Song of the Sun God.
The Covid-19 pandemic cost the UK production industry £455m (US$627m) in lost revenues last year, although VoD income grew, according to the latest annual census from UK producers association Pact.