BBC Two Preps Musical Telefilm, British Airways Docu
BBC Two has a pair of new projects on deck: a musical TV movie and an inside look at national carrier British Airways. Drama Tubby And Enid will star Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton and Olivier Award winner Michael Ball and is an adaptation of Victoria Wood’s stage play, That Day We Sang. Hilary Bevan Jones’ Endor is producing with shooting to start January 6. The story’s roots are found in the recording of Henry Purcell’s Nymphs And Shepherds as sung by the Manchester Children’s Choir in 1929. Jumping ahead 40 years, it focuses on a reunion of the same choir being filmed for a documentary. Wood writes and will direct. Meanwhile, BBC Two has greenlighted an observational documentary series about British Airways. The three-part series will feature unprecedented access to the airline and promises to be the “most in-depth analysis of British Airways in 25 years.” Lion Television is making the doc for BBC Two.
British And French TV Networks Celebrate Nelson Mandela
British and French networks are turning over time to tributes to Nelson Mandela this weekend. BBC One aired the special Nelson Mandela: The Fight For Freedom on Friday night and also will extend its news coverage. Sky1 aired the special Nelson Mandela: The Struggle Is My Life, while the news division will have presenter Jeremy Thompson live in South Africa from Saturday. I’m also told the funeral service for Mandela, who died Thursday, will be aired live. Channel 4 ran Nelson Mandela Superstar, a celebration of his life and legacy on Friday night local, and at the same time, ITV also aired a special program. In France, pubcaster France Télévisions’ France O and Franco-German channel Arte aired specials and documentaries. National network France 2 has scheduled Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman in an Oscar-nominated turn as Mandela, to air on Saturday night. Eastwood shot part of that movie in France.
‘Despicable Me 2’ Coming To Chinese Theaters January 10
Universal‘s Despicable Me 2 has been given a China release date of January 10. This comes after the first Despicable Me did not get a release in the country, though I am assured that local audiences are familiar with the film through VOD and DVD. This is the last international territory where DM2 will go out after making more than $551M abroad. Combined with the domestic total of $367M, the worldwide total is over $918M. The sequel is the fifth-highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide and is expected to pass Finding Nemo soon to reach No. 4. NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer recently said the studio was “focused on building new and expanded partnerships to establish long-term relationships between Universal and China” and that an office would be established in Beijing to be the “base of operations there.