Love Island Scores Major UK Ratings Win; Belgium’s ‘Team Chocolate’ Heads To UK; Acorn TV Launches Across Lat Am – Global Briefs


British reality format Love Island scored a peak audience of 3.4m viewers on ITV2 as the digital broadcaster cleaned up against its bigger rivals. The series, which follows a group of singletons including Danny Dyer’s daughter Dani Dyer who must couple up in a Majorcan villa, averaged 2.9m viewers across its 90-minute episode, more than double the 1.3m that tuned in to last year’s opener. Some 52% of its audience was aged between 16-34, a massive boon for the commercial broadcaster. The show helped the network beat major rivals including BBC One, which aired doc Suffragettes With Lucy Worsley in the timeslot, as well as The Queen’s Coronation In Colour on parent channel ITV, Versailles on BBC Two and C4’s 24 Hours in Police Custody. ITV bosses will hope that the increasing success of the format, a relative rarity in UK non-scripted formats, will help it sell the format into the U.S., where it had previously been in the works with MTV before a management change nixed its chances. Last year, ITV Studios’ format chief Mike Beale told Deadline that it was targeting digital platforms in the U.S. The format has already been ordered in a number of territories including Australia, Sweden and Germany.


Belgian drama Tytgat Chocolat (Team Chocolate) is being remade in the UK after producer and distributor Reel One Entertainment acquired the format rights and partnered with a leading UK theater company. The U.S. firm acquired the rights to the VRT series, which tells the heart-warming story of a young man with Down syndrome who travels across Europe to be reunited with the love of his life, from French distributor Wild Bunch TV. It has also partnered with Chickenshed to develop a UK version of the show to pitch to local broadcasters and is in talks with a UK writer. The original series, which launched last September, is produced by Salamander producer De Mensen and Belgian theater group Theater Stap. It follows the expansion of Reel One’s TV business with the appointments of Cleverman exec producer Adam Fratto as SVP of TV series and former Channel 4 exec Dominic Schreiber as global drama executive.

U.S. SVOD service Acorn TV is expanding internationally after becoming available across Latin America. The digital platform, which airs a slew of British and European dramas, is now available across twelve countries in the region including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru. It is available via the Roku streaming player as well as online for $4.99 per month. The service, which will be in English-language with Spanish subtitles, will feature shows including Doc Martin, Jack Taylor, Line of Duty, The Indian Doctor and The Syndicate. Matthew Graham, SVP and GM for the RLJ Entertainment-backed service, said, “Acorn TV has built a fast-growing subscriber base of passionate and loyal British and international TV fans in the U.S. and Canada, and we are excited to bring our unique offering of premium entertainment to other countries. Latin America marks an excellent first step, and we’re delighted to work with our valued partners at Roku who have been with us since the start of Acorn TV in 2011.”

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