The BBC and ITV have agreed to fund a Dancing Ledge mentoring scheme for new writers and directors. With the funding, 16 “A-list” writers will select and guide a group of people looking to break into the television industry. The writers will receive a bursary to write a pilot episode for a series, while directors will be funded to work as a second unit director on a TV production. Past mentors have included Jed Mercurio, Jimmy McGovern, Jack Thorne and Lucy Prebble on the first iteration of the scheme in 2018. McGovern’s mentee Tony Schumacher was recently commissioned to pen BBC One drama The Responder, starring Martin Freeman. Dancing Ledge is backed by Fremantle and has made shows including Netflix original Delhi Crime.
Banijay Rights has hired John Richards from Endemol Shine International as CFO, while Roisin Thomas will remain chief operating officer. Both will report to new CEO Cathy Payne, who said: “In Roisin and John, we have the perfect mix of financial acumen, operational nous and extensive industry knowledge, making us well-prepared for the future.” Banijay Group is in the process of securing regulatory approval for its takeover of Endemol Shine Group.
Red Arrow Studios International has partnered with 87 Films, the British indie behind Rob Lowe drama Wild Bill, and Israel’s TTV Productions to develop eight-part crime drama Protection. The drama tells three international stories which eventually collide: In Israel, Amalia Cohen-Aharonov becomes the country’s first Witness Protection Authority boss and tackles a major organized crime gang; in the UK, Labour MP Helen Ronson attracts the attentions of Moshe Kolikov, the man who hired Cohen-Aharonov; and finally in the U.S., Israeli informer Ovadia Hamami comes back into Cohen-Aharonov’s life. Protection is created by Alan Whiting (The Trials Of Jimmy Rose) and TTV Productions founder Zafrir Kochanovsky (Where Do You Live?), alongside Israeli writer Izhar Harlev.
AMC’s Sundance TV has acquired Season 3 of Keshet drama The A Word after showing the previous two series of the BBC autism drama. It was part of a raft of deals announced by Keshet International on Monday, including the sale of ABC’s The Baker And The Beauty to Australian streamer Stan. Keren Shahar, Keshet International’s president of distribution, said: “While we all do our bit to help slow the spread of this virus by isolating at home, series like these offer total escapism and the opportunity to explore the globe from the comfort of our sofas.”
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