Sophie Turner Laing, boss of Endemol Shine Group, is to receive a special award at this year’s International Emmys. CEO Turner Laing is to receive the International Academy’s 2018 Directorate Emmy® Award at the event, which is held in New York on November 19. The award is to recognize her work overseeing Endemol Shine Group’s network of more than 120 production companies in 23 markets as well as her positions at Sky, BBC and Hit Entertainment. “Sophie Turner Laing’s career is exemplary in every respect. From co-founding HIT Entertainment in 1989, to leading roles at the BBC, Sky and now Endemol Shine, she has time and time again made her mark on our industry.,” said Bruce Paisner, President and CEO of the International Academy. “We are looking forward to recognizing her visionary leadership and unyielding passion for the world’s best production talent, at our Gala in November.”
British multichannel broadcaster UKTV is set to find itself in the middle of a bidding war between co-owners BBC Studios and Discovery after it emerged that the former is partnering with Channel 4 to buy out its American partners. The move comes after Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, which owned 50% of the company, alongside BBC Studios, earlier this year. This move triggered the ownership discussions of the business, which operates a raft of channels including Dave, Gold, W and Alibi, as well as digital streaming service UKTV Play. However, the Guardian has reported that the BBC is partnering with Channel 4, which sells ads for UKTV, to find the money to buy out Discovery. Deadline understands that BBC Studios, which now includes the commercial arm of the British public broadcaster, BBC Worldwide, is in the driving seat in any such deal as the majority of content aired on its ten linear channels is second-run rights of BBC Studios-distributed programming such as Top Gear and QI. However, UKTV has been aggressively stepping up its strategy to commission originals such as Taskmaster and Don’t Say It, Bring It, in recent years.
John De Mol’s Talpa is eyeing success in Belgium after striking an exclusive deal with former Endemol Shine exec Nicole Plas. The former MD of Endemol Shine Belgium has struck an agreement to produce Talpa formats in the country through her fledgling production company Dok1 Media. Plas, who has produced series such as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Star Academy and The Wall, will kick off the arrangement by producing season eight of The Voice for Belgian broadcaster RTBF, which is expected to air in spring 2019. Plas said, “I’m very excited about this partnership with Talpa. I believe that Talpa will be an excellent partner and I look forward to a long-term collaboration and producing many great formats together.”
Moonage Pictures, the production company set up by the team behind Peaky Blinders, has hired Channel 4 executive Matthew Wilson as Head of Development. Wilson, who was previously Head of Development at the British broadcaster, was oversaw shows including Baghdad Central, Benedict Cumberbatch-fronted Brexit and Pure. He will now work with the BBC Studios-backed indie, which features, Will Gould, Matthew Read and Frith Tiplady, to develop a slate of writer-led projects. “I was starting to feel a little uneasy being the only Matthew at Moonage Pictures, so I’m thrilled that Matthew Wilson has decided to join us. The fact that he’s super smart, immensely talented and a man with a noble heart is an obvious bonus,” said Read.
Channel 4 entertainment format Lego Masters is set to be remade in Australia and Germany after broadcasters struck global deals with Endemol Shine Group for the series. The show, which is produced by Keshet-via-Greenbird-backed production company Tuesdays Child, will be remade for Australia’s Nine Network and Germany’s RTL. Endemol Shine Australia and Germany will produce. The show, which will launch its second season in the UK later this year, pits eight pairs of “brick heads” against each other in a quest to create special Lego structures. Casting is currently underway in both territories, with RTL launching later this year and Nine rolling out in 2019. Lisa Perrin, Endemol Shine Group’s CEO of Creative Networks says, “Lego is a globally renowned and much-loved phenomenon that appeals to people of all ages and Lego Masters most definitely has the same pull. It’s a hugely fun and family-friendly format and we expect it to engage Australian and German viewers and other markets in the way in which it has done in the UK.”