UK’s Sky Arts ‘Talks Music’ With The Stars
Britain’s Sky Arts is launching a new music interview series, …Talks Music. The 10-part show will look at the careers of some of the world’s most iconic music legends. Confirmed guests so far include Nile Rodgers, Boy George, Jeff Beck and Blondie’s Deborah Harry and Chris Stein. Whizz Kid Entertainment is producing, with Malcolm Gerrie conducting the sit-downs in front of a live studio audience. Gerrie and guests will also take questions from the floor. Jeff Wurtz, of Inside The Actors Studio, is directing and Gerrie is exec producing. A fall debut is planned.
Modern Times Group Buys Into UK Market For $23.6M
Modern Times Group, an international broadcasting outfit that operates free and pay-TV in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa, has added a UK-based international distributor to its portfolio with the acquisition of 92.4% of Digital Rights Group for £15M ($23.6M). Titles in the Digital Rights Group stable include The Inbetweeners, The Singing Bee, Kingdom, Sea Patrol and Criminal Justice. DRG founder and former CEO Jeremy Fox will return to the company, replacing exiting managing director Jonathan Jackson. MTG also picked up a 51% stake in Norwegian producer Novemberfilm for an undisclosed sum. The Oslo-based company produces series and commercials including key formats The Zookeepers, Insider and Missing.
Idris Elba To Produce UK Feature ‘One Square Mile’
Luther and Pacific Rim star Idris Elba will don a producer hat for British feature One Square Mile. Michael Caton-Jones is directing the film about four people with extraordinary stories that are all lived out within a square mile. Also producing is veteran casting director Ros Hubbard, Laurie Borg (Great Expectations) and Leon F. Butler. Butler, who directed the short One Square Mile: London, penned the script. No word for now whether Elba will act in the film. Shooting expected to start in the fall.
eOne Acquires US-Based Brand And Licensing Agency
Canadian giant Entertainment One continues to forge ahead in the U.S. having now acquired Calabasas-based brand and licensing agency Art Impressions. The acquisition will grow eOne Licensing’s U.S. operation, enabling it to handle brands across all divisions of eOne including film, television, music and family, and to exploit rights across all media worldwide. EOne Family and eOne Licensing have been active in the States since launching Peppa Pig on Nick Jr. in 2010. Art Impressions founder and owner Cindy Bailey will continue to lead the company. “This is a transformational period for our Licensing business,” said eOne Licensing and eOne Family managing director Olivier Dumont. “Our all media rights management business can now provide our partners the opportunity to exploit content and brands at the highest levels across all markets.” Art Impressions’ handles such teen brands as SO SO Happy and Skelanimals.