In a rare deal for a third-party format, Talpa Global will partner with Israel’s A Cappella to handle the worldwide distribution rights to game show The Big Picture. Created by TV host and mentalist Nimrod Harel and A Cappella, The Big Picture sees studio contestants given a shot at winning $1M by correctly answering 12 picture-based questions. If the studio player is unsure, they can enlist help from a connected viewer playing along in real time with the Big Picture app. At that moment, the connected player will have their image projected on the TV screen, play along via the technology and also have a shot at winning a substantial amount of the studio player’s total prize money. A budget of $1M went toward developing and producing an English-language Big Picture pilot, which A Cappella’s Einat Shamir and Tal Shaked shopped at Mip-TV in April.
Beta Film has closed a series of deals for its political thriller series Mammon. The show from Norwegian public broadcaster NRK has been picked up in such markets as Germany (ARD Degeto), Austria (ORF), Australia/New Zealand (Sky/pay TV, SBS/free TV, Roadshow/home video), Israel (HOT/pay TV) and Lithuania (LRT/free TV). Beta is in final negotiations for a pay TV sale in France on the six-part series. Channel 4 already has the UK rights, and 20th Century Fox TV last year optioned the U.S. remake rights for Chernin Entertainment.
ITV Studios is headed to Mipcom with a slate of 17 new factual entertainment, game/quiz, entertainment and reality formats. Topping the roster is The Secret Life Of Students/Teens, an observational documentary format originally made for Channel 4 that employs a new technological innovation to track contributors’ digital lives. Also new are Quiz Duel, based on FEO Media’s app QuizClash, that sees a team attempts to outsmart the entire nation; and The Line from High Noon Entertainment for GSN, which sees a cast of characters attempt to make it to the head of a line where cash awaits in the Vault. Other new factual entertainment formats include Who’s Doing the Dishes? (ITV Studios for ITV), history show 7 Days That Made… (Icon Films and GroupM Entertainment for Channel 5), fixed-rig documentary Doctors Behind Closed Doors (Knickerbockerglory for Channel 5), Did You Know? (Potato for ITV), observational documentary 24 Hours In Police Custody (The Garden for Channel 4), Black Economy (United TV for DR1 in Denmark), The Price Of Beauty (United TV for TV3 in Denmark) and docuseries Rolling Parliament (United TV for DR2 in Denmark). ITV Studios also will launch some scripted formats, including Rev (Big Talk for BBC1), Him & Her (Big Talk for BBC3) and Youngers (Big Talk for E4).
The London Critics’ Circle Film Awards have been set for January 18 in the British capital. The awards are presented by the Film Section of The Critics’ Circle, the UK’s longest-standing critical organization, made up of 140 critics. Films are eligible for the 35th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards if they are released in the UK between February 15, 2014, and February 6, 2015, and screened for the press.
Horror/game show hybrid Release The Hounds returned to the UK on Monday, scoring strong numbers for ITV2 in the 9PM slot. Produced by Sony Pictures Television’s UK joint venture Gogglebox, the show sends contestants into a forest at dusk as they seek out chests full of prize money. In order to win big after a series of challenges, they must outrun a pack of hounds trained to guard the cash. The first of the six-episode series helped ITV2 lead all digital channels with core demos and outperformed terrestrial channels Channel 5 and BBC Two in the males 16-24 group. In the same demo, the premiere scored the most-watched telecast of the month so far and the highest-rated Monday telecast to date in 2014. In total numbers, an average 509K viewers tuned in at 9PM for a 2.3 share with another 96K viewers watching the quick repeat just after midnight. The social media-friendly show trended in the UK for 2.5 hours on Monday and was the No. 1 trend for 45 minutes in the UK. It also trended globally, reaching the No. 4 spot. On Facebook, new likes were up 97% over the previous week.
The UK’s Soda Pictures has acquired British film The Goob, the debut feature from writer-director Guy Myhill. The cast includes Sean Harris (Prometheus), Sienna Guilleroy (Luther), Hannah Spearritt (Primeval) and newcomer Liam Walpole. A fiery tale of family conflicts and boyhood, set against the backdrop of a scorching Norfolk summer, the film follows a young man who is relegated to the shadows when his mother shacks up with a new man but who takes solace in an exotic pumpkin picker. The deal was negotiated between Soda Pictures’ MD Edward Fletcher and producers Mike Elliott and Lee Groombridge of EMU Films. The Goob world premiered in Venice and will play the Dinard British Film Festival and in the First Feature Competition at the BFI London Film Festival in October. The UK and Irish release is scheduled for spring/summer 2015.