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BBC Studios Inks China Co-Production Deal for New Natural History Series

BBC Studios has signed a co-production deal with Chinese firms Tencent Penguin Pictures and the state-run China Media Group CCTV9 for its new natural history series “Seven Worlds, One Planet.”

The series will look at how animal life and behavior has been shaped by the unique environmental circumstances of each of our seven continents. In Asia, it will look more at animals living at the extremes, while in Europe, it will delve into unexpected wildlife living closer to home.

The deal is a continuation of a long and growing partnership between BBC Studios and the Chinese firms. The British broadcaster started working with CCTV9 as early as 2008, when they co-produced the series “Wild China.” They have since collaborated on projects such as “Africa,” “Blue Planet II,” and, most recently, “Dynasties.”

“We’ve been partnering with BBC Studios for some time to bring premium documentaries to our audiences in China,” said CCTV9 programming department director Shilun Shi. “We are looking forward to deepening our working relationship with BBC Studios on more fruitful and successful projects and believe it will help benefit the whole industry.”

Lexian Zhu, the deputy director of Tencent Video’s documentary content management center, said that the new deal “reflects Chinese audiences’ interest in top-level productions.” Tencent Video is one of China’s major streaming platforms.

BBC Studios’ Asia EVP David Weiland said his firm was excited to extend its partnership with CCTV and Tencent. “By partnering with companies of this caliber we are able to bring the BBC’s world class natural history to Chinese audiences and invest in the next generation of landmark natural history programs.”

BBC America, ZDF, and France Televisions will also partner in the co-production. It will be broadcast in China simultaneously on both CCTV and Tencent later this year.

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