Silvio Berlusconi Expelled From Italian Parliament
Italy’s senate on Wednesday expelled former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from his parliamentary seat over his August conviction for tax fraud. This will be the first time the Mediaset chief will not hold an elected office in about 20 years. The New York Times notes that without the protections afforded to lawmakers, Berlusconi is now more vulnerable in other legal cases against him. Reuters quoted Berlusconi as saying to his Forza Italia party, “We are here on a bitter day, a day of mourning for democracy.”
MGM International TV Distribution Inks Deal With Turkey’s D-Smart
Turkish digital platform D-Smart, a subsidiary of Dogan TV Holding, has inked a multi-year first pay deal with MGM International Television Distribution. The exclusive deal gives D-Smart access to new releases and library titles. The package will include the Hobbit trilogy, Carrie, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Four Weddings And A Funeral and the Pink Panther movies, among others. In addition to linear distribution, D-Smart will also offer the films via SVOD through its digital service, D-Smart Blu.
Viki Gets Global Streaming Rights To Period Drama ‘Inspiring Age’
Fashioning itself as a sort of Asian Netflix, global streaming company Viki has ponied up an investment in period drama series Inspiring Age, which it will offer from January. Set in 1930s Shanghai, the action drama stars Kim Hyun Joong. Kim also starred in series Boys Over Flowers and Playful Kiss, which were watched by more than 10 million people on viki.com and subtitled in 65 languages. Under the deal for Inspiring Age, Viki will have worldwide streaming rights (excluding Korea and Japan) on web and mobile platforms. It will also have exclusive rights for North America and Europe. Viki’s first foray into production, OZMA, was a 2012 anime series by manga writer Leiji Matsumoto. The company plans to invest millions more in the coming years.
Zodiak Rights Nabs Susan Boyle Docu ‘There’s Something About Susan’
Zodiak Rights has taken international distribution rights to Susan Boyle documentary There’s Something About Susan. The one-hour special is produced by Firecracker Films for ITV1, where it will air in early December. The film traces the Britain’s Got Talent winner’s tour earlier this year over a series of solo concerts in the UK and U.S. An earlier documentary, Susan Boyle: An Unlikely Superstar, aired on ITV1 in 2011 and was watched by 5.8M viewers.