Anne-Marie Duff, best known to UK audiences for her role on Channel 4 series Shameless, will make her Broadway debut opposite Ethan Hawke in a new production of Macbeth. She’ll play Lady Macbeth at the Lincoln Centre Theatre in New York from October, the BBC reports. Duff, who is married to James McAvoy (who recently bagged an Olivier nomination in a West End version of Macbeth), is currently starring at the National Theatre in Eugene O’Neill’s 1920s epic Strange Interlude. She joins a group of other British actors treading the boards in New York this fall including Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal and Orlando Bloom who will make his Broadway debut in an adaptation of Romeo And Juliet.
Keshet International has appointed Cynthia Kennedy as sales director. Kennedy will be based in London and cover several territories. She joins from BBC Worldwide where she was senior sales executive for format licensing. She has also held a number of senior sales roles at companies including Zodiak Entertainment, Outright Distribution, ID Distribution, Parthenon, A&E Television Networks and Channel 4 International.
Anke Schäferkordt, CEO of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and co–CEO of RTL Group is to receive the 2013 International Emmy Directorate Award at the 41st International Emmy Awards Gala on November 25 in New York. The prize is one of two special awards handed out at the gala. As previously announced, J.J. Abrams is being given the Founders Award. “Anke Schäferkordt has been a driving force behind RTL’s growth – both in Germany, Europe’s largest and most competitive television market, and since 2012 across the Group’s worldwide operations. Her passion for programming, combined with a long-view strategic approach, make her an outstanding leader in the international TV industry. We look forward to adding her name to the very distinguished roster of recipients of the Academy’s Directorate Award,” said Bruce L. Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Italy’s RAI is dropping the Miss Italia beauty contest after 25 years. Sophia Loren was once a contestant on the show in 1950 where she was voted Miss Elegance. The decision to stop airing the pageant has sparked a debate in Italy, Reuters reported. RAI board member Antonio Verro told Italian Radio 24 that RAI’s president Anna Maria Tarantola felt the show set a “negative example.” But Verro said he hopes RAI can air the pageant in a truncated format. Per Reuters, director Roberta Torre told daily L’Unita that the show presented women as “pork ready to be sliced.” Speaker of Italy’s lower house, Laura Boldrini, called RAI’s decision “modern and civil.” She added that Italian TV leaves little room for women who express an opinion, “The rest are mute, and sometimes undressed,” she said at a conference on violence against women in Milan. Other women disagreed. Pageant organizer Patrizia Mirigliani said the contest’s format had been changed to encourage a more modern representation, and actress Lucia Bose, who was Miss Italia in 1947, told L’Unita that the contest was “a piece of Italian history” that had launched many of Italy’s legendary actresses.
SBS Discovery Media has secured exclusive rights for all 546 European qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup and the Euro 2016. With 20 television brands across the Nordic countries, SBS Discovery Media has taken rights for TV, online and mobile platforms in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The 2018 World Cup is being held in Russia and the Euro Cup 2016 is making France its home.
Sky Arts is adding to its foreign drama strand with the acquisition of TVE’s Spanish period series Isabel which charts the life of Isabella I of Castile. The channel is also reupping for Spanish melodrama Grand Hotel and French comedy-drama Hard. The returning series will kick off with a double-bill of Hard, on Sky Arts 1 on August 17. The French import Hard first aired on Canal Plus and is part black comedy, part domestic drama. Grand Hotel, meanwhile, hails from Spain’s Antena 3 and follows the overarching tale of two young lovers.