Seven Network Unveils New And Returning Lineup
Australian Seven Network has commissioned Eyeworks to produce a local version of Celebrity Splash, a Dutch format that U.S. network ABC also has embraced, and it will co-produce The Mole-Culture Clash with FremantleMedia Australia. These were among the new shows for 2013 unveiled by Seven, the top-rated prime-time network for the past six years, on Tuesday night. Debutantes include A Place to Call Home, an Australian drama series about a woman whose privileged family is rocked by scandal, set in a rural town in the 1950s, created by Bevan Lee (who created Seven’s hit Packed to the Rafters); and Mrs. Biggs, a British drama series starring Sheridan Smith as the woman who married notorious train robber Ronnie Biggs, a co-production between ITV Studios, Seven and December Films. Among the fresh U.S. series will be Last Resort, Red Widow and Zero Hour. Returning shows include Revenge, Downton Abbey, The X-Factor, Dancing with the Stars and Australia’s Got Talent. Celebrity Splash will see celebrities perform complicated dives with the help of professional instructors. The Mole-Culture Clash will feature contestants from different religions, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Seven also announced an exclusive contract with Melbourne-based market research group Neuro-Insight, which measures how the brain responds to communications. That firm operates in the U.S., UK and Germany. – Don Groves

Discovery’s ‘How We Invented The World’ Goes Global
Discovery Networks International announced the launch of its first ever global Facebook page and a dedicated YouTube channel for its new landmark series: How We Invented The World which will premiere next month on Discovery Channel worldwide in 209 countries. How We Invented The World will look at the four inventions that define the modern world – cell phones, cars, planes and skyscrapers – and the people and process that lead to their development. Each episode in this 4-parter highlights stories of human ingenuity, extraordinary connections, unprecedented experimentation and jaw-dropping events that have shaped the world as we know it.

Marc Evans To Direct Israeli-Palestinian Comedy ‘Birthright’
Welsh film director Marc Evans (Hunky Dory, Patagonia) has been signed to direct the Israel-Palestinian comedy Birthright to be made by New York-based BoomGen Studios. Producer and BoomGen Studios chief Mahyad Tousi presented the project at last week’s Pixel Pitch during the BFI London Film Festival. BoomGen is a leading producer and marketer of commercial entertainment focused on the Greater Middle East and has worked on a number of marquee projects including Disney’s Prince of Persia, Julian Schnabel’s Miral and the TLC Television series All-American Muslim. Tousi says “Birthright is a multi-narrative story franchise that explores the intersection of politics, identity, and love.” Evans’ credits include Snow Cake which screened in competition at Berlin and My Little Eye. His most recent, Hunky Dory written by Laurence Coriat and starring Minnie Driver and Aneurin Barnard is set for a U.S. release in the first quarter of 2013. He is currently filming Doors Open for British broadcaster ITV, an adaptation of the Ian Rankin novel starring Douglas Henshall and Stephen Fry.