In this week’s International TV Newswire, Amazon announces a raft of international original programming, the European Animation Awards (Emile Awards) get postponed, Fremantle picks up two new executives, Viacom announces an English-language adaptation of Argentine hit “100 Days to Fall in Love,” and ITV and Alchemy Entertainment sign a first look deal.
Amazon’s Big International Week
In the days following announcements for three new original series in Spain, Amazon Prime Video has announced two more Spanish productions, both unscripted, in “Una vida, una cena,” (“A Life, a Dinner”) and soccer-doc “Huesca F.C.”, as well as a Brazilian adaptation of the hit Israeli series “Allenby” titled “Rua Augusta,” and a collection of U.K. standup comedy specials.
“Una vida, una cena,” adapts a format developed at The Mediapro Studio, in which chef Quique Dacosta hosts a famous guest to prepare a signature dish. “Huesca F.C.” follows the Spanish soccer club through the 2018-19 season, it’s first in Spain’s top division in a generation which eventually ended in relegation.
Based on the novel “Allenby Street” by Gabi Taub, “Rua Augusta” is a psychological drama which takes place on and around the eponymous street in the heart of São Paolo’s night life, where an exotic dancer falls victim to an assault which only she can put right. The series enjoyed a successful broadcast run on TNT in Brazil and will premiere on Prime this month.
Announced jointly with U.K. production company Avalon, six comedy specials are being recorded throughout 2019. Four – from Chris Ramsey, Ed Gamble, Flo & Joan and Paul Chowdhry – will be released on August 19, with two others to come later this year.
Often seen as another means of entry into the Amazon ecosystem, whose gargantuan business is driven by online retail and cloud computing services, Prime Video’s original programming is beginning to get up to speed in more recent markets for Amazon, despite or because of often significant competition from established and new streaming platforms.
Emile Awards Postponed Citing Lack of Financial Support
In a letter sent by the board of the European Animation Awards, also known as the Emile Awards, it was announced this week that the 2019 edition of the annual ceremony has been postponed until an as-yet undetermined date in 2020. Not mincing words, the letter mentions lack of support from the E.U. Creative Europe Media Program specifically, as well as an unexpected absence of funding from several other industry sponsors not specifically named. The ceremony’s organizers stressed however, that they believe the awards are much needed and have promised not to let them end, instead insisting they will learn from past editions and come back with a stronger event supported by a more formidable network. The letter also states that memberships purchased for the 2019 year will be extended to 2020.
Fremantle Hires New VP and Senior Acquisitions Manager
Fremantle announced on Thursday the hiring of new VP of non-scripted content Harry Gamsu and senior acquisitions manager Céire Clark. Both will report to SVP of non-scripted content Angela Neillis. Gamsu, previously the VP of non-scripted at Red Arrow, will work out of Fremantle’s L.A. office and manage the U.S.-based content acquisitions team where he will source Canada and U.S. originated content for development and eventual international distribution. Clark, formerly a manager of non-scripted acquisitions for All3Media, will work out of the company’s London headquarters and develop relationships with international independent producers, while also developing commercial strategies for content.
Viacom To Adapt for Showtime Argentine Smash Hit ‘100 Days to Fall in Love’
It’s a two way street. Remaking Paramount Pictures titles for the Spanish-speaking world- such as “To Catch a Thief” – Miami-based Viacom International Studios (VIS) Americas is now remaking one of its first Spanish-language hits for the U.S. Co-produced by Argentine network Telefe, which Viacom bought in November 2016, and Underground (“El Marginal”), comedy “100 Days to Fall in Love” premiered on Telefe in Argentina in May 2018 averaging a huge 45% share. Now VIS and Paramount TV are creating an English-language series for Showtime Networks. The U.S. import marks another step in one of the fastest builds in international TV production which has also seen VIS going beyond its own brands to work with different alliances over the world. Early results – Daniel Burman’s “Victoria Small,” with The Mediapro Studio; “Bad People,” co-produced with “La Casa de Papel” producers Atresmedia; “Spirit House,” originated by “Final Destination” creator Jeffrey Reddick – were sneak peaked via a showreel at the L.A. Screenings.
ITV Studios Global, Alchemy Entertainment Sign First Look Deal
Earlier this week ITV Studios Global Entertainment signed a new first look deal with Kate Sinclair’s newly-set up management and production company Alchemy Entertainment. Sinclair spent the last three years at U.K.-based indie drama production house The Forge, as an executive producer where she developed award-winning fare such as BBC1 and Masterpiece drama “The Miniaturist.” In her career Sinclair has been responsible for sourcing and acquiring a host of high-profile properties pre-publication such as “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” In her time as an TV executive producer she has acquired and developed nine TV projects.