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RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network and Sony Pictures Television have announced a deal that will bring “House of Cards” to Southeast Asia on May 14 exclusively on the new RTL CBS Asia Entertainment channel.

RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network is a joint-venture formed in August 2013 between German powerhouse RTL Group and CBS Studios International. Its two new channels, RTL CBS Entertainment HD and RTL CBS Extreme HD, will be distributed in more than 20 Asian markets.

RTL CBS Entertainment HD is currently available in Malaysia on HyppTV, in the Philippines on SKYcable and Cablelink; in Singapore on mio TV and in Thailand on TrueVisions. Other shows they air include “Under the Dome,” “Beauty and the Beast,” The X Factor USA,” and “Late Show with David Letterman.”

 

DANISH SOCIAL EXPERIMENT FORMAT ‘MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT’ GOES TO RUSSIA

Danish hit format “Married at First Sight” will be adapted for Russia by top Russian independent broadcaster CTC which has picked up the rights from Red Arrow International.

In “Married at First Sight” six singles take the radical step of marrying a complete stranger and decide whether to stay married after six weeks.

The extreme social experiment show, to be titled “Zhenaty s pervogo vzglyada” in Russian, will premiere on April 20th on CTC.

“Married” has been going strong on Denmark’s DR3´s where it debuted last year, besting the channel average by almost 500%. It will now air on DR’s main channel, DR1.

Originally created by Red Arrow´s Snowman Productions, “Married at First Sight” has previously sold to over 15 countries.

Red Arrow Entertainment Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Group.

 

ITALO PUBCASTER RAI LAUNCHES EXPANDED SALES DIVISION

Italy’s state broadcaster RAI is setting up an expanded new sales oufit that will combine its current RAI Trade sales division with its RAI Net web unit and also absorb digital sell-through of its RAI Cinema movie properties.

The new entity – which has been approved by the RAI board but is still without a name – will be handling foreign rights of all RAI product, comprising film, TV, sports, music, and also digital distribution in Italy for 01 Distribution, which is RAI Cinema’s theatrical arm.

RAI’s new beefed-up sales division, which be operational within the next three months, will be headed by Luigi De Siervo, the current head of RAI Trade.

Besides sales De Siervo will also be in charge of setting up some international co-productions starting with the animation field where he is seeking partners for kiddie series “Pio the Chicken,” a spin-off of an Italian song with animal sounds and related YouTube video which went vastly viral.

“RAI has decided to meet the challenges of the market with a sales company that can ensure flexibility and prompt timing,” De Siervo commented in a statement.

 

ITV TAKES ON WORLD SALES ON FOUR NEW SHOWS: “TEXAS RISING,” “AQUARIUS,” “THE GOOD WITCH,” AND “SCHITT’S CREEK”

ITV Studios Global Entertainment has taken world sales on four new scripted series: Roland Joffe-directed “Texas Rising,” “Aquarius,” “The Good Witch” and “Schitt’s Creek.”

“Texas Rising,” about the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers, is co-produced by A+E Studios and ITV Studios America, and produced by Thinkfactory Media. The cast comprises Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser and Ray Liotta.

“Aquarius” stars David Duchovny as an undercover L.A. cop in the late 1960’s investigating Charles Manson. It is produced by ITV Studios America in association with Marty Adelstein Productions.

“The Good Witch” is based on the hit Hallmark the TV movie franchise. The new skein, which is a Whizbang production, will start shooting early next year.

“Schitt’s Creek” is about a formerly filthy rich video store magnate gone bust and forced to relocate his family to a crummy little town he once bought as a joke when he was loaded.  It toplines Eugene Levy (“American Pie”) and and Catherine O’Hara. The series is produced by Not A Real Company Productions Inc. and commissioned by Canada’s CBC.  It is created by Eugene Levy and Dan Levy who serve as Executive Producers alongside Fred Levy, Andrew Barnsley and Ben Feigin of Anonymous Content.  Production is set to start this spring.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment is the sales arm of ITV, which is the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster.

 

SWEDEN’S TV4 ORDERS UP SECOND SEASON OF ‘WELCOME TO SWEDEN

Sweden’s top commercial broadcaster TV4 has ordered a second 10-episode season of  Amy and Greg Poehler’s “Welcome to Sweden” which will bow on NBC in the U.S. on July 10 at 9 p.m.

Produced by Entertainment One and based on Greg Poehler’s true life story, the half-hour comedy series is a a fish-out-of-water comedy series about a New York accountant, Bruce (Greg Poehler), who falls in love with a Swedish girl, Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) and follows her to Sweden.

“Viewers love the show and the ratings are fantastic,”  enthused Fredrik Arefalk, Executive Producer of WTS and Head of Channel TV4, in a statement. “We really look forward to a new season and to keep on following Bruce and Emma and their continuing struggle to settle down in Sweden.” 

Lensed in Sweden, New York and L.A., the offbeat show marks TV4’s first-ever English-language series. NBC picked up U.S. rights at Mipcom in October 2013.

eOne is handling world sales.

Amy Poehler will speak at the MIPTV Media Mastermind Keynote in Cannes today (April 7) at 5:20 p.m. in the Grand Auditorium.

 

DREAMWORKS CLASSICS DRUMS UP MORE DEALS ON ‘THE OWL & Co’

DreamWorks Classics has inked a raft of new deals in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia on “The Owl & Co,” the kiddie series produced by Paris-based Studio Hari in tandem with France Televisions.

The series for kids ages six and up about The Owl whose sole concern is to hunt caterpillars has gone to Super RTL (Germany); DR (Denmark); Planeta Junior (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus); MBC (Middle East); Minika Channel (Turkey); TVB (Hong Kong) and Cineplex (Thailand).

The original series featured fifty-two one minute (52 x 1 minute) episodes that received top ratings and aired in 200 countries Worldwide. Four television specials based on the series that preemed last year will roll out internationally throughout 2014 along with the all-new “The Owl & Co.” episodes in a longer (78 x 7) format.

 

EMMETT/FURLA AND TOWER 18 PRODUCING SECOND SERIES OF ‘SAF3′

Emmett/Furla and Tower 18 Productions have renewed Malibu-set syndicated TV series “SAF3,” the second series of which will premiere in the U.S. simultaneously for English-speaking and Latino audiences, reaching the latter via Univision’s UniMas platform.

The 20 episode first season premiered in September 2013 and airs in over 90% of the United States. Tribune Broadcasting serves as the lead station group. Internationally, “SAF3″ has been sold in over 60 countries.

The hourlong skein about an elite division within the Malibu Fire Department was created by Tai Collins and Gregory J. Bonann who co­-created “Baywatch.”

Chris Philip (Sierra Engine), Nadine de Barros (Fortitute) and Tannaz Anisi (13 Films) are handling worldwide sales. Hank Cohen (Trifeca) is handling domestic distribution and Dave Soberai (Millenium) handling ancillary sales.

 

ISRAEL’S ARMOZA SCORES TRIO OF DEALS IN CANADA

Israel’s Armoza Formats has scored three deals in Canada where its scripted drama “Hostages” will air in the original version in French speaking territories via SVOD platform tou.tv.

Additionally, Armoza’s game show “While You Were Sleeping,” touted as being the first game show that gives you money while you are fast asleep, has been picked up by French-speaking Canadian specialty youth channel VRAK.TV. While divorcees-themed factual format “You, Me and My Ex,” has been acquired by Toronto-based production company for English-language Canada.

“Hostages,” which also airs on the BBC in the original version and on CBS in a U.S. adaptation, is about surgeon who becomes entangled in a political conspiracy when she is ordered to sabotage a routine operation on the President, or her family will die. The original Israeli series, produced by Chaim Sharir (also of “The Naked Truth”), and written by Omri Givon and Rotem Shamir, aired simultaneously in Israel on Channel 10 while the US adaptation was airing on CBS.

BANIJAY BUYS ‘THE LIE’ FOR FRANCE

French media conglom Banijay Group’s Air Productions has acquired “The Lie,” dubbed the first quiz show without questions, to develop the format for French audiences.

Sold by Red Arrow International and developed in the UK by STV, TV3 and GroupM Entertainment, “The Lie” has been a huge hit with Irish audiences, exceeding the slot average on Irish channel TV3 by up to 32%. A second season has been commissioned.

The new show gives a team of two contestants the chance to hit the jackpot if they can separate fact from fiction during increasingly tense rounds where they risk increasing amounts of money on their ability to spot “The Lie.”

 

BETA SELLS ‘VELVET’ TO ITALY AND FRANCE

Germany’s Beta Film has sold its new show “Velvet,” a period drama set in a famous Madrid fashion boutique, to Italy’s RAI, for an Italo adaptation, and to France’s M 6 which will air the original Spanish version.

Set in the 1950’s and 60s in Madrid’s dazzling Art Deco clothing store, Galerias Velvet, the show turns on the forbidden affair between the fashion empire heir Alberto and the lowly seamstress Ana.

Spanish network Antena 3 has ordered a second season of “Velvet after season-one debuted with a strong 25 percent primetime share, drawing some 5 million viewers.

The show is created by Ramón Campos and Gema R. Neira, the team behind “Grand Hotel,” which is considered Spain’s “Downton Abbey” of sorts.

“Grand Hotel” was sold by Beta to more than 60 territories, including Germany, UK, US and France. RAI Uno and Cattleya are currently producing a “Grand Hotel” remake for Italy.

IIS’ ‘THE BOAT’ SAILS TO FOREIGN PORTS

Germany’s ProSieben Group has acquired rights to “The Boat,” a fantasy-mystery series produced by Globomedia for broadcaster Atresmedia, skein’s sales agent, Imagina International Sales (IIS), announced Monday. One of the most ambitious Spanish series to be made in the last half-decade, and now having gone through three seasons in Spain, “The Boat” turns on a school-ship at high sea whose crew and students look like the last survivors of a global cataclysm. Brazilian pay TV operator Globosat has also re-upped for “Boat’s” second and third seasons.

Already sold in 20 territories, IIS’ “Red Eagle,” a 17th century masked crusader adventure series has added new buyers: Sahamongkolfilm, which also took “Boat,” for Thailand; Philippines’ CTN47, Poland’s TVN and Portugal’s SIC Radical. In the U.S., Spanish-language free-to-air broadcaster Vme TV and Drama, a VOD service, have just acquired ”Eagle’s” fifth season. New Imagina shows include Czech series “The Manor House,” urban comedy “B&B Magazine,” produced by Globomedia, and feuding family drama “The Lighthouse,” which plays Spain’s regional channels.

AZTECA AND CISNEROS TEAM WITH AFRICA XP FOR ROMANZA + AFRICA

TV Azteca and Cisneros Media Distribution will team with AfricaXP, a pan-regional digital channel content provider and designer, to launch Romanza + Africa, a dedicated telenovela channel. It will target the continent’s English-speaking audiences. Tapping into over 3,000 hours of English-language programming, the channel will bow with Azteca’s drama series “Catalina and Sebastian” and Cisneros Media Distribution’s novela “Secret of Love.” Other titles to follow include CMD’s “The Woman of My Life” and “Yearning for Your Love.”

“Africa is a unique market as it has over 500 broadcasters in 54 countries. Our new cloud-based platform uniquely enables us to take our partners’ content, assemble a bespoke channel and then deliver to any African broadcaster quickly and cost effectively,” said Craig Kelly, founder and CEO of AfricaXP.

He added: “As multi-channel DTT and IPTV platforms roll out rapidly in Africa, there is a growing demand for premium themed channels and a number of our broadcaster clients have expressed interest in a 24/7 telenovela channel.  The genre is taking Africa by storm.”

 

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