UKTV Unveils Slate; Endor Hires Fox Exec & Scottish Producer Options Chinese Format – Global Briefs
British broadcaster UKTV has unveiled its latest slate for entertainment network Dave. The BBC Studios-backed network has ordered Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable, a comedy format fronted by the former Great British Bake Off host and comedy and food format Big Zuu’s Big Eats as well as new series of motoring show World’s Most Dangerous Roads and comedy format Hypothetical. Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable is an eight-part series, produced by Expectation, where three celebrities are invited in to a confessional to find out who’s committed sins that are so bad that they should be declared unforgivable. Big Zuu’s Big Eats, which is produced by Twofour Group’s Boomerang, follows comedians including Desiree Burch, Ed Gamble, Jamali Maddix, Jimmy Carr and London Hughes as they eat on tour. Finally, Hypothetical, produced by Episodes producer Hat Trick, returns for a third season with Josh Widdicombe and James Acaster, while World’s Most Dangerous Roads, produced by Renegade Pictures, returns to screens for the first time since 2012.
Deep State producer Endor Productions has hired former Fox Networks Group exec Sara Johnson (left). The Red Arrow Studios-owned company has named Johnson as Creative Director. She was previously VP of Scripted at Fox Networks Group, Europe & Africa. Endor produces series including Fox Networks Group’s Deep State, which aired on Epix in the U.S., ORF and ZDF period drama Vienna Blood and forthcoming BBC One drama But When We Dance. Johnson has also worked on War of the Worlds and before joining Fox Networks Group, she was exec producer and head of scripted co-production at The A Word producer Keshet Productions UK. Johnson said that she was looking forward to helping to grow the company’s “vibrant” slate. Hilary Bevan Jones, Managing Director of Endor Productions, said, “I am delighted to welcome Sara to the Endor family in this new creative role. Our work together on Deep State was an incredibly rewarding experience, and we are all excited that Sara is joining at such an interesting and creative time for our company.”
Scottish producer Beezr Studios has optioned a Chinese factual entertainment format – one of the first times a British producer has picked up the rights to a Chinese project. The company has optioned Little Chefs in the RV from Guangdong Television. The series follows kids and their parents as they travel the country in campervans, learning along the way about food ingredients, farming, foraging and cooking. The idea was developed by producers from the A Taste of Guangdong, with the help of the University of Westminster’s China Media Centre and Beezr’s development consultant Clare Thompson. The series will be produced in China this summer, with Beezr simultaneously developing and pitching the UK version. “We just loved the idea when we heard it,” said Beezr MD Alasdair MacCuish. “It taps into so many things everyone is talking about right now – from reconnecting with nature, to food production, meat and where our meals come from. In China, as here, there’s also lots of concern about families no longer having time together to hang out, cook and learn from each other. This is a really nice way of doing all that, with a fun contest, some lovely British travelogue and a bit of Secret Life of 4 Year Olds-style child psychology thrown in.”