Bell Media is bringing music format The Launch to Mipcom with Jane Rimer repping the new series. In partnership with Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the series is a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to break a new artist and bring a song to life. Originally created for Canada’s CTV, the first six-part season kicks off in early 2018 with Shania Twain, Boy George, Fergie, Alessia Cara, Nikki Sixx, Julia Michaels and Jennifer Nettles all participating. Over the course of the program, five unsigned emerging artists compete for the opportunity to record and perform a new original song, mentored by a panel of internationally renowned music industry legends. Each installment kicks off with the introduction of a new original song that has been created by a renowned songwriter. Then, each of the five artists audition for the mentors who choose two they feel have the most potential and are the right fit. They work together over the next 48 hours to shape the song and in the finale, the two artists compete against one another, performing their rendition in front of a live audience. The record is released immediately following broadcast.
Sweden’s Nexiko and LA-based Dynamic Television are teaming for The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules. The former will produce an eight episode series for broadcaster SVT which Dynamic will distribute worldwide. Production is expected to begin next year in Sweden and France. A feel-good, drama based on the international bestselling book series by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg, the TV project will follow a group of disgruntled rebellious senior citizens whose desire for a better life in their nursing home leads them to form a criminal gang pulling off elaborate and hilarious heists. France’s Line Renaud has been cast as one of the leads.
Canal+ has acquired Hard Sun and Picnic At Hanging Rock for its French pay-TV channel. Both deals were concluded with FremantleMedia International. Hard Sun, is a pre-apocalyptic crime drama written by Luther’s Neil Cross and starring Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn. It’s produced by FremantleMedia UK’s Euston Films. Picnic At Hanging Rock stars Natalie Dormer as headmistress Mrs Hester Appleyard in a reimagining of Joan Lindsey’s classic Australian novel. After the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and one teacher on Valentine’s Day 1900, the complex, interwoven narrative follows the subsequent investigation and the event’s far-reaching impact on the students, families and staff of Appleyard College. It’s produced by FremantleMedia Australia.
Gaumont and Studiocanal are joining to co-distribute French drama series Nox. The six-part crime thriller will air on Canal Plus in France and be handled in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Asia by producer Gaumont. Studiocanal will handle sales in all other markets. Set in the Paris underbelly, Nox is created by Fred Cavayé, Quoc Dang Tran and Jerome Fansten. It centers on Catherine (Nathalie Baye), a bad-tempered and headstrong retired cop who is forced back into action when her daughter Julie (Maiwenn), also a well-respected cop, disappears into the sewers. Along with the help of her daughter’s police partner (Malik Zidi), Catherine chases every clue in a hellish descent into the bowels of the city, racing against time to navigate the terrifying maze. Production began in July.
Ovation has acquired a package of titles from New York-based FilmRise. Taking films for both its linear channel and newly launched Ovation NOW app, the arts network has licensed Manifesto, starring Cate Blanchett; Sundance hit Marjorie Prime, starring Lois Smith and Jon Hamm; documentary The Secret Life Of Lance Letscher; and the classic The Glass Menagerie, directed by Paul Newman and starring Joanne Woodward. The deal was negotiated by Danny Fisher and Melissa Wohl, Head of Sales of FilmRise and by Scott Woodward of Ovation.
All3media has found homes for crime thriller Rellik in Europe and Asia. Produced by New Pictures and Two Brothers Pictures for BBC One UK and Cinemax, the six-part drama has been acquired in a major pan-territory deal with HBO Asia, following its acquisition by HBO Europe earlier this year, as well as by Tele München for Germany and German-speaking territories. Further deals include DBS Satellite (Israel) and VRT (Flemish Belgium), as well as a DVD/Video rights deal with Dazzler Media for the UK. Starring Richard Dormer (Game Of Thrones) and Jodi Balfour (The Crown), Rellik is written by Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing), and executive produced by Willow Grylls (The Missing), Charlie Pattinson and Elaine Pyke.
Toronto-based Kew Media Group has signed a letter of intent to take a stake in Jeff Norton’s London-based Awesome Media & Entertainment. Last year, Awesome announced it would be expanding its kids and family slate to include primetime drama. Current original projects include Woodland, about the search for the missing grandson of a Tolkien-like literary icon; Cortex, a high-tech police procedural about human memory hacking; and Expat, a contemporary drama in development with Monumental Television.
Vice Media and Econet Media have set a new joint venture to fully launch Vice into Sub-Saharan Africa. Titled Kwesé VICE, the partnership will see Vice and Econet open a new bureau and production studio headquartered in Johannesburg, with a focus on the development, production and distribution of local editorial content and original video programming both for Kwesé Vice’s channels and third party platforms. Econet Media owns Pan-African broadcast network Kwesé — a multi-platform offering with specific products targeted at Africa’s emerging millennial demo. Kwesé TV is already the home of Viceland. Vice has this year set global deals in Brazil, the Middle East and India.
Five local versions of Norwegian teen drama Shame have been commissioned straight-to-series throughout Europe. Partners in Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands have ordered local versions of the NRK hit which is handled by Beta Film. Over four seasons, the award-winning blog-style series has drawn millions of teenagers in Norway and around the world into the lives of a group of teenage girls and boys, following their day-to-day struggle in real time on their mobile phones. The story is published through web-specific elements, texts, images and grabs, as well as live-action drama scenes. It runs daily online and when something occurs in the story, the clip goes live at the same time as it happens for the characters. The storylines are wrapped in a weekly webcast and on TV. Banijay Studio France is prepping for production in partnership with France Televisions this year. In Germany, Bantry Bay is making the show for ZDF/funk. Movistar+ is developing the Spanish remake, and in the Netherlands the show will be produced by NTR and broadcast by NRT/NPO. Rome-based Cross Productions is partnered with Italian media house Timvision for shooting this year. Shame is produced by NRK and written and directed by Julie Andem.