Allan Leighton, Linda Robinson Named To eOne Board
Canadian giant Entertainment One has appointed Allan Leighton to its board as Non-Executive Director and Chairman. He replaces James Corsellis as Chairman, though Corsellis will remain a Non-Exec Director. Leighton is a former board director of BSkyB in the U.K. and previously was Chairman of The Royal Mail, CEO of Asda Stores Limited and Walmart Europe, Deputy Chairman of Selfridges & Co and Chairman of LastMinute.com. Also joining the eOne board a little more than a year after its acquisition of Alliance Films is media attorney Linda Robinson as Non-Exec Director. Patrice Theroux, who leads eOne’s global film business, is stepping down from the board to focus on his exec responsibilities.
Eleanor Tomlinson, 2 Others Join BBC One’s ‘Poldark’; ‘The Intercepter’ Role Recast
Eleanor Tomlinson (Jack The Giant Slayer, The White Queen) has joined BBC One’s new drama Poldark. Aidan Turner (The Hobbit Trilogy) is already aboard as Ross Poldark in Debbie Horsfield’s adaptation of Winston Graham’s novels. The eight-part period saga will be produced by Mammoth Screen for BBC One. The story begins in 1783 as Poldark returns from the Revolutionary War in America to his beloved Cornwall only to find his world in ruins. He rescues Demelza (Tomlinson) from a life of violence and drudgery, employing her as his kitchen maid. Outspoken and free spirited, she gradually becomes indispensable. Also joining the cast are Heida Reed (Silent Witness) as Poldark’s erstwhile sweetheart, and Ruby Bentall (The Paradise) as his cousin and dutiful daughter to his Uncle Charles. Shooting starts in April in Cornwall and Bristol for air in 2015. The BBC previously adapted the first four books of the Poldark novels in 1975. In other BBC casting news, Cloud Atlas’ David Gyasi has been forced to drop out of BBC One’s eight-part series The Interceptor following a leg injury. The BBC announced today that O.T. Fagbenle (Looking) will replace him in the lead role. Filming will pick up again next month in London. The Interceptor is described as a high-octane series about a state-of-the-art law enforcement team whose unswerving mission is to hunt down some of Britain’s most dangerous and ruthless criminals. Created by Tony Saint and directed by Farren Blackburn, the series is made by BBC Drama Productions for BBC One.
ARD Picks Up British Comedy ‘Cuckoo’ For Germany
FremantleMedia International has sold British comedy Cuckoo to Germany’s ARD. The deal marks the first time in more than a decade that an acquired series has made it onto ARD’s access-primetime schedule. The network is eyeing a fall 2014 airdate. Cuckoo is produced by Roughcut TV for BBC Three in the UK. The first six-part series starred Andy Samberg in the story of a middle-class family whose daughter comes back from a summer abroad married to a charming but infuriating hippie moron. Greg Davies, Helen Baxendale and Tamla Kari also star. It was the biggest comedy launch in BBC Three history and was nominated for two British Comedy Awards. NBC later gave a put pilot commitment to a U.S. version. The second series swaps out Samberg for Taylor Lautner, who plays a mysterious young stranger who comes to town trying to track down his father. Cuckoo, meanwhile, is missing and presumed dead after disappearing on a walkabout in the foothills of the Himalayas. Cuckoo is executive produced by Ash Atalla (The IT Crowd, The Office).
Game Show ‘The Chase’ Heads To Turkey’s Kanal D
ITV Studios Global Entertainment has signed a new format deal with Turkey’s Kanal D for game show The Chase. The local version will air this spring. GSN in the U.S. recently commissioned an extended third season from ITV Studios America to air later this year. The game show sees four contestants face quick-fire questions to build up their prize money. But if they allow the chaser to catch up to them, they’re out. The Chase has also been produced by Potato in the UK, where series seven is currently airing on ITV; Germany (ITV Studios Germany for NDR); Russia (TV Channel Russia); Serbia (RTS); and Croatia (HRT).