Hong Kong actor and international star Chow Yun-fat has become one of the few high-profile local stars to speak out on the current pro-democracy protests in his native country. “I’ve met the residents, the students — they are very brave, and it’s touching to see that they’re fighting for what they want,” he said in an interview with newspaper Apple Daily. “The students are reasonable. If the government can come up with a solution that the citizens or students are satisfied with, I believe the crisis will end.” Per Channel News Asia, he added that the use of tear gas on protesters this weekend was excessive. “When the government uses violent measures on students, it’s a turn-off for the people of Hong Kong,” the actor said. “I don’t wish to see anyone getting hurt. … It was a peaceful demonstration, and there was no need for any violence or tear gas.”
In its first deal with a Farsi-language broadcaster, Sony Pictures Television has licensed 344 episodes of the The Dr. Oz Show to broadcaster Farsi1. The deal covers the first two seasons of the show, which will air on the free-to-air pan-regional network beginning this fall. “We hope that this new Farsi1 show will help our viewers to get a better and healthier lifestyle,” channel GM Sina Valiollah said. Dr. Oz, which is in its fifth season in the U.S., is co-produced by SPT and Harpo Productions. Since it debuted in 2009, it has been sold by SPT to nearly 118 territories around the world.
Ahead of Mipcom, Beta Film has acquired the six-part event series Shades Of Guilt. The crime series from Constantin Film/Moovie producer Oliver Berben is a legal thriller based on the short stories of best-selling German author and defense attorney Ferdinand von Schirach. Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run) stars as attorney Friedrich Kronberg, who always acts in favor of the defendants, no matter how guilty they are. Made for ZDF locally, it will head Beta’s Mipcom lineup this month. The series circles around the different levels of individual guilt for a crime either committed in a single moment of thoughtlessness or in months of planning. Beta Film’s slate also highlights the new Hallmark production Signed, Sealed And Delivered, the relaunch of Beta’s best-selling Rex – Special Unit, and the $35M box office hit The Physician, which was released in Germany by Universal and stars Ben Kingsley, Stellan Skarsgard and Tom Payne. It’s also handling the second season of Cedar Cove, starring Andie MacDowell.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment has signed a development and distribution deal with new independent production company Little Gem. The deal will see the partners working closely to develop formattable and finished-factual and factual entertainment programming for the international market. Little Gem’s Managing Director Ben Gale and Creative Director Natasha Bondy both have worked in key commissioning and production roles at the BBC and have held senior posts in the indie sector, including working together at Maverick Television. Gale was Series Editor of the first series of Who Do You Think You Are?, the BBC’s Executive Producer of the first BAFTA award-winning series of The Choir and commissioned hits including Don’t Tell The Bride, The Real Hustle and The Baby Borrowers for BBC Three. As Head of Factual Entertainment at Princess, Bondy was responsible for developing a string of successes including Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew for Sky One, Britain’s Best Bakery and Nursing The Nation for ITV and Jewish Mum Of The Year for Channel 4.