Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Gossip Girl’, ‘ER’ Getting Local Versions In Asia
Pretty Little LiarsWarner Bros Television Group series Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl and ER have been commissioned and optioned as local versions in the Philippines, Thailand and India, respectively. In the Philippines, ABC Development Corporation is in production on Pretty Little Liars with the 22-episode adaptation to air on TV5 in April. The show ranks as the No. 1 original series of all time on ABC Family, where its 5th season will air this summer. In Thailand, Kantana Public Company Limited is producing an 18-episode local adaptation of Gossip Girl. In India, ER is under option with Gold Television Network. This follows the announcement last month that a Colombian version of the show was going forward.

Mediaset Plan To Air ‘The Great Beauty’ Irks Exhibitors
Italian cinema operators are up in arms over the decision by Mediaset’s Channel 5 to broadcast Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar nominee The Great Beauty in primetime next week. TheGreatBeauty(Italy)_390Local media is reporting that Italian orgs including exhibitors group the ANEC and the Catholic Association of Cinema Owners are concerned that the film’s airing will bite into any prospects it might have for a re-release should it score the Foreign Language Oscar on Sunday night. The broadcast “is likely to result in a strong attenuation of cinematic potential,” the orgs said. The movie premiered in Cannes last year and was released in Italy in May. Films generally are expected to wait 24 months after their theatrical debut before being made available on free-to-air television, though that’s not a formal law. The film has already been available via VOD and is out on DVD. The Great Beauty has previously won the Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Foreign Film as well as the European Film Award for Best European Film.

BBC Worldwide, TVP, Apple Film Team For ‘The Passing Bells’
BBC Worldwide
is teaming with TVP and Apple Film Production in Poland for The Passing Bells. The World War I drama from writer Tony Jordan is produced by Red Planet Pictures. Filming in Poland, The Passing Bells tells the story of WWI through the eyes of two young men who enlist in a war they expect will be over within months. This is the second collaboration between BBC Worldwide and TVP and Apple Film Production after their co-production Spies Of Warsaw. The Passing Bells is a five-part drama that was initially announced at last year’s MIP-TV.

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‘Sex Academy’ Coming To The Netherlands
Banijay International has licensed entertainment format Sex Academy to RTL5 in the Netherlands. The seven-part local version will launch this year. Originated by Denmark’s Sex AcademyTV2, Sex Academy most recently was adapted by Banijay Group’s Cuarzo Producciones for Mediaset-owned Cuatro in Spain. It sees eight ordinary couples go back to school to learn all about sex. The budding students are lectured on various topics such as the importance of foreplay, different sexual positions and role-playing before being given homework. Using their own home video cameras, the couples invite viewers to follow their hands-on experience and then discuss what they have learned back in the classroom in the hope of graduating to a permanently improved sex life.

Nay Raman Tapped As Director Of Development At Pioneer Productions
UK factual producer Pioneer Productions has named Nav Raman as its Director of Development. The exec was formerly commissioner for Channel 4. Also newly hired is Simon Barnes, who joins from the BBC as Executive Producer. The pair will work with creative director Ailsa Orr as the senior creatives within her team. Orr came to Pioneer from the BBC at the end of 2013. Pioneer, owned by the Tinopolis Group, was founded in 1988. Its output includes lifestyle, factual entertainment, history, science and docudramas. Recent projects include Storm City for Sky 3D, Drugged for National Geographic, Where Did Humans Come From? For Discovery, Is Our Weather Getting Worse? for Channel 4, and Extreme Homes for HGTV. Orr said today the company is looking to focus growth “in the wider factual area.”