‘Sherlock’ Season Finale Ratings Tops Weekend In UK
A roundly lauded finale for Season Three of Sherlock was the weekend’s most-watched TV program in the UK. The modern detective series’ third installment, entitled “His Last Vow,” drew 8.77M viewers for a 32.1% share, according to the overnights. While it was possibly the best-reviewed episode of the current season, it also was the lowest-rated. Last week’s 90-minute turn, “The Sign Of Three,” had brought in 8.84M viewers and the January 1st opener, “The Empty Hearse,” was the show’s most-watched episode ever at 9.2M on BBC One. In March last year, star Benedict Cumberbatch said there would be a fourth series of a three more episodes. At a BAFTA screening and panel discussion last week, Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat said the next season will be made “as quickly” as possible. Season 3 kicks off in the U.S. on PBS on January 19.
UK’s BBFC Changes Its Movie Ratings Criteria
After a spending nearly a year polling more than 10,000 members of the British public, the UK ratings board is tweaking its guidelines. Beginning February 24, the BBFC will give greater weight to the theme and tone of a film, especially around the 12A and 15 certificate levels (12A is similar to PG-13 in the U.S. and 15 means suitable only for 15 and overs). The board will also pay particular attention “to the psychological impact of horror” and strong visual details like gore. The BBFC has previously shown itself to be squeamish: In 2012, Lionsgate UK shaved seven seconds off The Hunger Games when it appeared the board was going to stamp it with a 15 certificate. Fixes were made in four scenes of violence and one showing details of injuries. It secured the 12A with a warning that it had “occasional gory moments.” While the BBFC will be stricter with language at the U level (equivalent to an MPAA G), it will also be more flexible about allowing very strong language at the 15 rating. “Context, not just frequency, is the most important factor in how language in films is perceived by the public,” the BBFC said today. Further, the group’s findings show that the public is notably concerned about the sexualization of girls in mainstream films and about risks to vulnerable adolescents, including what some described as the onscreen ‘normalization’ of behaviors which parents consider inappropriate. According to findings of the poll, 95% of parents with children under 15 say they check the BBFC rating before watching a film and 89% of moviegoers ratings important. The most complained-about film over the past four years was 2012’s The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe. Eleven percent of moviegoers polled thought it had received too low a rating at 12A and should have been given a 15.
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Red Planet Pictures Sings Motown With 10-Part Musical
The UK’s Red Planet Pictures is tuning up a 10-part musical TV drama built around the Motown sound. Stop! In The Name Of Love is a collaboration of writer Tony Jordan (Hustle, Life On Mars), producer Duncan Kenworthy (Notting Hill, Love Actually), former Cineflix Studios CEO Peter Smith, and former Universal Music UK chairman John Kennedy. The partners have entered a deal with EMI Music Publishing, the owners of the publishing rights to the Motown library, for use in the project. Jordan will pen the contemporary series about a group of smart thirtysomethings and their search for love and friendship, with the series’ characters singing Motown tunes within the spoken narrative as an intrinsic part of the plot, character and tone of the show. Jordan and Kenworthy are exec producers.
Former BBC Exec Tanya Shaw Joining Shine TV As Creative Director
Shine TV has appointed Tanya Shaw as Creative Director. The former BBC exec joins Shine in the spring and will manage the company’s existing developments as well as growing its slate of factual programming. The original production entity of Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group, Shine TV makes such shows as Ashley Banjo’s Big Town Dance for Sky 1, Britain’s Best Bakery for ITV, Island Of Lost Blokes for Channel 4 and documentaries including The Lying Games: Crimes That Fooled Britain for ITV, Karaoke Nights for Channel 4 and Idris Elba: King Of Speed for BBC 2. Shaw is currently Commissioning Editor, Factual Features and Formats at the BBC. Her key commissions have included Rick Stein’s India and The Great Interior Design Challenge. Shaw will continue to executive produce series for the BBC until her departure. She also previously worked at Channel 4, responsible for such shows as Four Rooms, The Food Hospital, and Bear Grylls’ first two Wild Weekends with Jonathan Ross and Miranda Hart.
Qumra Film Festival Pushed To 2015
The Doha Film Institute has canceled plans for its first 2014 Qumra Film Festival, the org said over the weekend. The move follows a transition period for the Qatar group, whose partnership with Tribeca Enterprises in the Doha Tribeca Film Festival was dissolved last year. DFI later said it would launch two new fests to take the place of the Doha Film Festival. Films from first- and second-time filmmakers were to be the focus of the new Qumra Festival, which had been set for March. That event now has been pushed to 2015 in order to “better target our resources and provide increased educational and financing opportunities to support global storytelling, nurture upcoming talent and enhance film appreciation both regionally and internationally,” a spokesperson said. DFI did start the Ajyal Film Festival for the Young, which ran in November.
‘Ghost Hunters’ Sells To Multiple Territories
Alfred Haber Distribution has made a handful of high-end international deals for Ghost Hunters, the unscripted paranormal investigative series that’s entering its ninth season on Syfy in the U.S. Key recent sales for the one-hour reality franchise include: Foxtel (Australia), NBCU (Latin America), AXN (Italy), BSkyB (UK), Sony (Russia), OLN (Canada), Discovery (Spain), Syfy (Benelux), D17 (France), and Celestial (Southeast Asia). The series is now seen in over 137 countries worldwide.
British Comedy ‘Pulp’ To Launch In North America On Xbox Video
Pulp, an irreverent comedy feature set in a world where comic book publishing and international crime intersect, is set to debut today in the US and Canada on Xbox Video. The film was the first to premiere on Xbox Video in the UK, and it also ran in Australia and New Zealand. “The film industry is in a period of transition and we’re thrilled to be at the forefront of innovation,” Pulp producer Phil Bland said. “It’s great to have notched up another film history first. Xbox is a great partner to work with and we look forward to seeing how American and Canadian audiences respond to the film on Xbox Video.”
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