Bear Grylls Set For New ITV Series; Keshet Preps Annual INTV Event: Global Showbiz Briefs

ITV has commissioned a new Bear Grylls adventure series. He will star in Mission Survive, in which he takes eight celebrities into the depths of one of the most unforgiving Central American rainforests, where they will be competing in a 12-day survival mission. Grylls will guide the celebrities on their punishing assignments, assisted by survival experts Megan Hine and Scott Heffield. One contestant will be eliminated at the end of every episode until there are three vying to be the Mission Survivor. The series is a Bear Grylls Ventures/Electus/Betty production. Watch the teaser above.

Keshet Media Group is prepping its third annual INTV confab in Jerusalem. The company behind such formats as Homeland/Prisoners Of War and MICE/Allegiance will hold the conference focused on the convergence of innovation and the television industry on March 15 and 16. Confirmed speakers now include HBO CEO-Chairman Richard Plepler; ITV Director of Television Peter Fincham; Andrea Wong, President of International Productions at Sony Pictures Television; Susan Lyne, President of BBG Ventures at AOL; and Golden Globe winning writers Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi (The Affair, In Treatment) among others. Hosted by Keshet’s CEO Avi Nir, nd Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, this year’s INTV will kick off with the local premiere of USA Network’s upcoming series Dig, which was produced by Universal Cable Productions and developed by Keshet. The premiere will host showrunner and writer Gideon Raff (Homeland), who co-created the series with Tim Kring (Heroes), and actor Jason Isaacs, who co-stars in the series. Other speakers will include Bruce Tuchman, President of AMC Global and Sundance Channel Global; Stephen Friedman, President of MTV Networks; Jacob Shwirtz, Chief Social Media Officer at Endemol Beyond USA; Shaul Olmert, co-founder and CEO of Playbuzz; Ari Shavit, author of My Promised Land: The Triumph And Tragedy Of Israel; Rick Rosen, Board Member & Head of Television at WME; Lee Hunt, founder of Lee Hunt LLC; and filmmaker Porter Erisman.

BBC veteran Gaynor Holmes has been appointed Head of Drama for BBC Scotland. She has been with the BBC for 14 years with credits including Monarch Of The Glen, Waterloo Road, Ashes To Ashes, Reichenbach Falls, Two Thousand Acres Of Sky and River City, among many others. The Scottish exec has been the Acting Head of Drama, Scotland, since September, following Christopher Aird’s appointment as one of the two Heads of Drama, London. Holmes will take up her new role immediately. BBC Scotland’s upcoming dramas include Stonemouth with Peter Mullan and One Of Us from The Missing writers Jack and Harry Williams.

Spain’s Atresmedia Televisión has secured the rights to Red Arrow International’s Married At First Sight. Casados A Primera Vista will be produced by Big Bang Media and Boomerang and is due to air on Antena 3. Originally created by Snowman Productions for Danish channel DR3, the format has been sold to such territories as France, Australia and Germany. In the U.S., the season finale of Married At First Sight became the most-watched telecast ever on A+E Networks’ FYI; a second season has been ordered. In November, a second season of the Danish version finished airing with shares of up to 52%; every episode was the most-watched show of the night in Denmark.

Heather Jones has been appointed General Manager, UK, of A+E Networks UK. She will be oversee all aspects of the business across the company’s UK operation and portfolio of channels: History, Lifetime, Crime + Investigation and H2. She joined A+E Networks UK in July 2013 as VP Programming and previously held senior management roles at UK independent production company North One, as well as Viacom in the UK. She joined Viacom from Paramount Comedy, where she was Managing Director, UK. Jones takes up her new role February 1.

BBC One has ordered a three-part documentary series from Sony Pictures Television joint venture Electric Ray that will chronicle the story of five ex-Manchester United stars as they prepare to help Salford City Football Club rise in the ranks. Salford Dreams United follows Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, and Gary and Phil Neville who have taken on passionate neighborhood team Salford City — an Evostick Northern Premier League side with an average crowd of just 150 — in a bid to turn it into a new model for all football clubs, rooted in the community, discovering untapped talent and turning local players into heroes. Can the so-called “Class of ’92” really breathe new life into the 75-year-old club and turn it in to a thriving team? The doc will air on BBC One later this year.

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