ITV Studios Global Entertainment has signed a host of pre-sales on its upcoming drama, Victoria, which is a Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece co-production for ITV and PBS. Starring Doctor Who‘s Jenna Coleman, the eight-part series has now been acquired by Sweden’s TV4, Norway’s NRK, DR in Denmark, Finland’s YLE, NPO in the Netherlands, Yes in Israel, ITV Choice across Africa and by Zoomer Media’s Vision TV in Canada. Victoria had its first showing yesterday as part of MipTV’s Drama Screenings; airdates for the principal networks have not been explicitly set, although it is due for the Downton Abbey slot on Masterpiece. The drama, which is eyed as a potential returnable, follows the early life of Queen Victoria (Coleman), from her accession to the throne at the tender age of 18 through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert (Tom Hughes). Victoria went on to rule for 63 years, and was the UK’s longest-serving monarch until Elizabeth II overtook her in September last year.
Expanding its footprint in the bustling Israeli market for drama, Endemol Shine Group is setting up a scripted hub in Tel Aviv. Endemol Shine Studios Israel will invest in local writers, showrunners and onscreen talent to create series for distribution and adaptation around the world. Gal Zaid has been appointed Director of Drama and Comedy, reporting to Endemol Shine Israel’s CEO Elad Kuperman. Kuperman originally founded the indie producer in 2002 which was acquired by Endemol in 2013. Endemol Shine Israel’s current slate of scripted series includes thriller The Orpheus Project for cable outlet HOT, which has been locally adapted in the Netherlands; dark comedy Killing Grandma, for YES; drama The Harem and comedy Dalmatian Family for commercial network Reshet; and sitcom Miller Junction for Keshet. Since joining Endemol Shine Israel in 2014 as Director of Drama and Comedy, Zaid’s credits have included writing The Orpheus Project and producing, script editing and starring in Miller Junction, the follow up to Traffic Light, which also sold to Fox in the U.S. His former credits include script editing and starring in Keshet’s Prisoners Of War, the original format upon which Showtime’s Homeland is based. He also co-developed Hostages, which sold to CBS.