Distrib gets off to a flying start at MipTV

CANNES — FremantleMedia Enterprises has come out of the gate running at MipTV, signing a first-look deal with Morgan Spurlock and his Warrior Poets and pacting with Brit producer Justin Bodle to develop and distrib new dramas, mini-series and TV movies.

With Spurlock, FME will deficit finance his new projects; several of his shows will join the FME catalogue.

These include “New Britannia,” an off-beat look at the Brits; “Failure Club,” originally produced for Yahoo! in the U.S. in which the filmmaker encourages seven participants to meet impossible goals; and “A Day in the Life,” the docu chronicling 24 hours in the life of such celebs as Black Eye Peas’ front man, will.i.am.

“New Britannia” and “A Day in whe Life” were produced for Sky Atlantic in the U.K. and Hulu in the U.S. respectively.

Spurlock, in Cannes to hype the FME deal en route to Blighty to promote “New Britainnia,” said he wanted broadcasters and producers to raise their game. “Everybody wants to occupy the safe, middle ground where the risks of failure are minimal. There are too many shiny floor shows out there and too many talent shows. TV audiences need to be challenged.”

One show Spurlock hopes to challenge the status quo with is contempo political drama “Texas,” recently rejected by HBO, but which he still hopes to get off the ground via Warrior Poets.

Meanwhile, FME’s deal with Bodle will kick off with four blockbuster dramas. The first, “Fire of London,” is a four-hour mini that looks at what would happen if the 1666 fire that destroyed most of the city was re-ignited today.

Bodle, whose company Power ran into financial difficulties in the fall of 2010, created “The Day of the Triffids,” “Flood,” “Colditz” and “Crusoe.”

FME CEO David Ellender said, “Justin has collaborated with the world’s most respected broadcasters to produce a powerful new generation of dynamic, big event drama.”

Bodle added, “This deal gives me the opportunity to do what I do best and produce what international audiences love the most — epic appointment-to-view television that captures the imagination of millions.”

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