BBC unveils 'Spies,' 'Ripper Street'
BERLINHistorical dramas, long-running favorites, entertainment formats and sports shows all found eager buyers as the MipTV programming mart in Cannes began to wind down on Tuesday. Pubcaster Arte France boarded BBC Worldwide’s “Spies of Warsaw,” starring David Tennant. Set in Warsaw on the eve of WWII, the story centers on a military attache at the French embassy who is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal and intrigue. Adapted by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais from Alan Furst’s novels, the two-parter also stars Janet Montgomery (“Black Swan”). “Spies of Warsaw” is the first of BBC Worldwide’s planned run of adaptations of Furst’s novels. It’s produced by Fresh Pictures for BBC4 and co-produced by Poland’s Apple Film for TVP. Also eager for historical drama, Australia’s Network Ten picked up BBC Worldwide’s crime series “Ripper Street.” Set in 19th-century London, during the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders, the eight-parter stars Matthew Macfadyen (“The Three Musketeers”), Jerome Flynn (“Game of Thrones”) and Adam Rothenberg (“Alcatraz”) and centers on the notorious H Division, which is charged with keeping order in the city’s East End. It’s the first pre-sale deal for the show, created by Richard Warlow. ITV’s long-running “Midsomer Murders” continues to find viewers around the globe with its latest incarnation, now starring Neil Dudgeon as Chief Inspector Barnaby. Radio-Canada’s French TV network is the latest to pick up the U.K. mystery drama, which is in production on season 15. Distributed by All3Media Intl., the show — which airs in more than 230 countries — recently sold season 14 to the Czech Republic, Croatia, Lithuania, Australia, France, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, Netherlands, Africa and English-speaking Canada. On the format front, Munich-based SevenOne Intl. will distribute Canadian shingle Zone 3′s celebrity gamer “Duo” and variety show “In Lieu of Flowers.” “Duo,” in which teams compete to win the most cash for their favorite charity by answering racy trivia questions about their partners, is broadcast on V Canada. “In Lieu of Flowers,” which pokes fun at death by featuring a guest star bearing witness to his own mock funeral and a reenactment of his life and career, currently airs on SRC. Australia’s XYZnetworks bought food adventure series “From Spain With Love” from Toronto-based Shaftesbury for its LifeStyle Food channel in Australia, Food Television in New Zealand, Asian Food Channel in Southeast Asia and Fox Traveller India. The series has been licensed in 100 countries, including the U.K. and territories in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. FremantleMedia Enterprises sold multiyear TV rights to mixed martial arts tournament “Bellator Fighting Championships” to Canal Plus in Poland, Esporte Interativo in Brazil and Celestial Tiger Entertainment for syndication in 13 countries across Southeast Asia. BBC tyke label CBeebies has commissioned Zodiak Kids’ production company the Foundation to produce “Let’s Play,” inspiring preschoolers to discover the world through creative role play and dressing up.