Is a Sherlock theme park attraction afoot? BBC Worldwide has entered a deal with London Resort Company Holdings to feature the broadcaster’s properties at a new park to be built in north Kent. The park, the London Paramount Entertainment Resort, promises to “combine the glamour of Hollywood with the best of British culture,” The Guardian reported. Since the park will look to attract tourists in the UK, it’s thought the most international of the BBC programs will feature as rides and attractions including Sherlock, Doctor Who and Top Gear. However, the park isn’t expected to open until Easter 2020. “We’re always looking for opportunities to extend fans’ enjoyment of their favorite shows, and the idea behind this resort is a really exciting way of celebrating the very special place the BBC has in British culture,” said Stephen Davies, Director of Live Events at BBC Worldwide. Also featured will be such Paramount properties as Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, The Godfather and The Italian Job.
Gaumont has boarded international sales and taken French distribution rights to Mamoru Hosoda’s The Boy And The Beast. Produced by Studio Chizu and Nippon TV, the animated film is a coming-of-age action fantasy tale about a lonely boy who lives in the human world and Kumatetsu, a lonely beast who lives in the imaginary world. Their encounter will be the beginning of an adventure that goes beyond imagination. Hosoda’s 2012 Wolf Children was released in more than 90 countries. Its French box office was second to Japan, where it grossed $52.5M.
A+E Networks UK has commissioned The Battle Of Waterloo, a two-hour special to be hosted by Sean Bean. The documentary will air on History and investigate the famous battle in honor of its 200th anniversary. Wavelength Films is producing for air in June. The Battle Of Waterloo will use evidence from historical eyewitness accounts alongside analysis from present-day military experts, offering a ground-level perspective and insight into the events of 1815.
Viacom International Media Networks has promoted Katie Keenan to Head of Acquisitions for Channel 5 and VIMN UK, giving her lead responsibility for acquiring programming for all of the group’s TV channels in the UK. VIMN also has confirmed the appointment of Vanessa Brookman and Craig Morris as the respective programming leads for 5* and Spike UK, due to launch in the spring. Keenan, who is currently Head of Acquisitions for Channel 5 only, will become Viacom’s main UK liaison with the U.S. studios and other distributors of TV content. Earlier this year, Viacom acquired Channel 5, one of the rare free-to-air channels to come up for sale in some time. As Head of Acquisitions for Channel 5 since 2010, Keenan has been responsible for securing key series including this year’s Gotham.
At Mipcom back in October, Simon Cowell lamented that his Got Talent franchise had been sold to pretty much every country in the world except Mongolia. Executives at his Syco Entertainment evidently took heed as Syco and FremantleMedia have announced the commission of Mongolia’s Got Talent by Mongol TV. The multiseason deal will see Mongol TV broadcast the first local version of the format in 2015. This brings the total number of local versions across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle-East, Africa and the Americas to 67 and the total countries in the world to air a version of the format to 193. As well as creating a local version of the format, Mongol TV will acquire Season 8 of Britain’s Got Talent. “Mongolia is one of the last countries in the world to have Got Talent on air, so I’m absolutely delighted Mongol TV will be making the show next year,” Cowell said.
The UK’s Channel 4 has commissioned comedy pilot Flowers, about an eccentric family struggling to keep it together. The pilot will star Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman and The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt. They play music teacher Deborah and children’s book author Maurice, who live with his mother and their 25-year-old twins in a crumbling old house. Will Sharpe (Black Pond) is writing the pilot that’s produced by Shine’s Kudos.
Rising Star’s international fortunes have been mixed, but its popularity with Israeli audiences hasn’t waned. Season 2 kicked off this week with an 11% increase in number of viewers on last year’s debut, a 42% average household share and a 31% household rating. It peaked with a 45% share of all viewers. Keshet International says the second season has added new elements, taking inspiration from several overseas versions. Despite rocky roads in the U.S., France and Germany, the Hungary version is widely outperforming its competition. It also is airing in China, where its audience has steadily increased over seven episodes to 9.5M viewers and 2.9% share.
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