Discovery, Five team on three series

Deal includes 'Shocking,' 'Crimes'

Discovery Networks U.K. and the U.K.’s terrestrial broadcaster Five have teamed to co-produce three factual entertainment series. Companies also have inked for free-to-air broadcasting rights on finished productions handled by Discovery.

The co-production deal includes six additional hours of series “My Shocking Story,” about people with extraordinary medical conditions; 10 more half-hour episodes of technology series “How Do They Do It?”; and the 10-episode second season of “Crimes That Shook the World,” a dramatic reconstruction of the 21st century’s most significant crimes.

“Shocking” will premiere on Discovery Channel and then air on Five in the U.K. later this year. “How Do They Do It?” and “Crimes” will air in 2009. Five will also broadcast the first season of “Shocking.”

The agreement has allowed Five to acquire first-window rights in the U.K. to four episodes of 30-minute series “Storm Chasers,” about a crew that chases killer tornadoes in the U.S. each year, and the 26-seg, one-hour portrait of bizarre and revolutionary experiments, “Weird Connections.”

“Five shares our mandate to deliver extraordinary and inspiring stories to a diverse cross-section of viewers in the U.K.,” Dan Brooke, exec VP and managing director, Discovery Networks U.K., said Monday at Mip TV.

Discovery Networks also outlined the relaunching of its Discovery Science channel in Europe and the Middle East.

Company also said it will launch Discovery World service in Europe to replace Discovery Civilization on April 18.

Discovery’s vast production slate allows it to adapt channels to segmenting market tastes with great flexibility.

“This is a landmark year for Discovery. We’re launching Planet Green in the U.S. in June; we’ve a renewed focus on Discovery Science. We have renewed investment in programming, with over 200 original series coming out in the U.S. for the 2008-09 broadcast year,” said Caleb Weinstein, the newly appointed senior VP of Discovery Enterprises Intl.

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