Fremantle Backs Diversity Leadership Scheme; Discovery Orders Maradona Doc; Starzplay Launches On Viaplay; TriForce WriterSlam Winner; NENT Adapts ‘The Holiday’ For Channel 5 — Global Briefs


Fremantle Backs Diversity Leadership Scheme
Fremantle has teamed with The TV Collective, Indigo Talent, and former ITV Studios executive Remy Blumenfeld to launch a scheme that will work with 50 middle-to-senior BAME professionals to help them break into industry leadership roles. Under the Breakthrough Leaders initiative, those chosen will be mentored by a top industry figure, have access to coaching, and be part of a cohort of fellow executives. Nominations can be submitted here, with a deadline for entries being set for January 15. The scheme is designed to address industry concerns that there are plenty of entry-level initiatives for people from diverse backgrounds, but BAME professionals are hitting a glass ceiling when it comes to breaking into top roles. Fremantle’s own global leadership team is made up entirely of white executives, while in the UK, Fatima Salaria and Athena Witter are part of the top team.

Discovery Orders Maradona Doc
Discovery UK has commissioned ITN Productions to make a fast-turnaround documentary on the death of Diego Maradona. What Killed Maradona? will premiere on streamer Discovery+ on December 28 and takes a close look at the array of drugs that fuelled the footballer’s lifestyle and the impact they had on his body and personal life. Simon Downing and Victoria Noble ordered the show, while the executive producer for Discovery is Jeremy Phillips. The executive producer for ITN Productions is Sarah-Jane Cohen.

Starzplay Launches In Nordics On Viaplay
Lionsgate-owned streamer Starzplay is to launch in the Nordics on Nordic Entertainment Group’s Viaplay. Viaplay users will have access to a wide selection of exclusive Starzplay series from tomorrow, while the full Starzplay service will go live at an unspecified date.

TriForce WriterSlam Winner Announced
The Amazon-backed TriForce WriterSlam competition has announced Tumi Belo as its winner. Belo was victorious in the emerging writer competition with her script, The Philadelphia Hope, which was inspired by stories of Black newspapers in the U.S. in the 1920s. Her script, and those of three other finalists, were performed by actors, including Lauren Drummond, Ivanno Jeremiah, Michael Salami, Jennifer Nicholas, and Amrita Acharia, during a virtual event streamed over Amazon-owned Twitch. The 10-year-old scheme is open to writers with no representation or previous broadcast credits.

NENT Adapts ‘The Holiday’ For Channel 5
NENT Studios UK, which is currently on the sales block, is adapting T.M. Logan’s best-selling book The Holiday for ViacomCBS-owned UK broadcaster Channel 5. Working alongside Projector Pictures, Clapperboard Studios, and Night Train Media, the book will be reimagined as a four-part series about a woman who discovers her husband is having an affair on the first day of a holiday with her closest friends. The vacation soon becomes a nightmare as she suspects one of her friends of being involved in the tryst. Michael Crompton (Silent Witness) is adapting the novel for television, while the executive producers are Dave Clarke for NENT Studios UK, Rachel Gesua and Trevor Eve for Projector Pictures, Mike Benson for Clapperboard Studios, Herbert Kloiber and Olivia Pahl for Night Train Media.

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