BBC Two has picked up Feud: Bette And Joan, Ryan Murphy’s eight-part series about the legendary rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The series was acquired from 20th Century Fox Television Distribution and is set to air on BBC Two later this year. It stars Jessica Lange as Crawford and Susan Sarandon as Davis, and also features Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland and Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell, while Judy Davis plays Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Jackie Hoffman, Alison Wright, Dominic Burgess, Sarah Paulson and Kiernan Shipka also star. Murphy exec produces with Tim Minear, Alexis Martin Woodall and Dede Gardner of Plan B Entertainment.
Sky Vision, the international production and distribution arm of Sky, has secured an option deal in the U.S. for entertainment talent show Guitar Star. Scott Sternberg (On The Case With Paula Zahn) is partnering with Motion Content Group U.S. to pitch the format to American broadcasters over the next six months. Suzanne Bender (American Idol) will lead casting for the U.S. version. Originally produced by UK content company Somethin’ Else and GroupM Entertainment UK for Sky Arts, Guitar Star is a search to find extraordinary amateur guitarists of all ages and styles. World-leading guitarists head up the audition rounds, judging the hopefuls on their ability. Contestants are then put through further rounds for a chance to perform on the main stage of a top music festival and be crowned the ultimate Guitar Star.
TrustNordisk reports brisk sales on its Icelandic thriller I Remember You, directed by Oskar Thór Axelsson. Sold around the world, the film was acquired by IFC for North America, along with deals in France (Swift), the UK (Studiocanal), Japan (Gaga), Latin America (California Filmes) and Vietnam (Green Media), among others. I Remember You is based on a bestseller by Icelandic crime writer Yrsa Sigurdardottir and stars Thor Kristjansson, Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson. When an elderly woman hangs herself inside a church in the remote Westfjords of Iceland it leads to an investigation into a number of strange deaths of older people in the region. The new psychiatrist in town further finds out that the deceased woman was obsessed with the disappearance of his 7-year-old son. Across the bay in an abandoned village, three city dwellers are restoring a house when supernatural things start occurring. The two stories gradually intertwine. Producers are Joni Sighvatsson, Thor Sigurjonsson, Skuli Malmquist and Chris Briggs for Zik Zak Filmworks in co-production with Ape & Björn Norway and Maze Pictures in Germany.
Banijay has appointed Lionel Abbo as Global Head of Digital for Banijay Group and Banijay France. Abbo will lead and coordinate the company’s digital business across the companies. He joins from Shine France where he has been Deputy Managing Director Creation Developpement 360˚ since 2009. Previous posts include as a producer for MTV Networks, as part of the development team at Endemol France and as Head of Content at Tribal DDB Paris.