Germany’s ZDF solves “The Puzzle Lady”; All3Media hires Mike Gould for digital partnerships; Lookout Point taps Pippa Brown for comedy; and Indian streamer Disney Plus Hotstar buys animated version of Bollywood “Dabangg” franchise.

Germany’s ZDF Enterprises has partnered with new Canadian outfit December Films and the U.K.’s Factual Fiction (“Agatha and the Midnight Murders”) to develop mystery drama series, “The Puzzle Lady,” based on American author Parnell Hall’s best-selling series of books.

The partners have acquired the television rights to all 20 books in the series that features the eccentric Cora Felton, a crossword puzzle columnist who can’t resist solving crimes. Series development on six episodes will commence immediately with execs Todd Berger, Julie Di Cresce Patrick Irwin and Emily Dalton in charge alongside screenwriter, Dominique Moloney (“WPC 56,” “Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators”).

Robert Franke, vice president drama at ZDF Enterprises, said: “Parnell Hall has created, in ‘The Puzzle Lady,’ a delightful character that has been described as ‘Miss Marple on steroids,’ a strong hint that this will not be your typical mystery series.


All3Media has hired former Endemol Shine Group senior manager Mike Gould to fill the newly created role of partnership manager for its digital division, a3mi2. Tasked with handling the company’s digital partnerships worldwide and maximizing digital returns for the company’s existing brands and content, Gould will report to Gary Woolf, executive VP of strategic development.

Created earlier this year, a3mi2 focuses exclusively on the international digital marketplace, particularly VOD platforms. The company works directly with channels and aggregators and has been a launch partner and provider to the likes of Roku, Pluto, Tubi and Amazon Prime Video. Jamie Lang


Meanwhile, the BBC Studios group’s Lookout Point (“A Suitable Boy,” “Gentleman Jack”) has hired Pippa Brown as creative director, comedy. Brown joins from Tiger Aspect, having co-written, produced and executive-produced BBC One series “The Other One.” Her previous producing credits include BBC Three’s “Bad Education,” Kathy Burke’s “Walking and Talking” for Sky Atlantic and Sky’s “Psychobitches.” She will work closely with CEO Faith Penhale.


India’s largest streamer Disney Plus Hotstar has acquired rights to 104 episodes over two seasons of Cosmos-Maya and Arbaaz Khan’s animated series “Dabangg,” based on the homonymous Bollywood live-action film franchise.

Arriving a decade after the popular films starring Salman Khan first hit theaters, “Dabangg” follows police officer Chulbul ‘Robin Hood’ Pandey in his every-day life across 52 half-hour episodes. Adapted for family audiences, the series will also feature Pandey’s brother Makkhi, a newbie on the force who tries to emulate his older sibling.

Debuting summer 2021 on Disney Plus Hotstar, the series will be available to its subscriber base of eight million. Jamie Lang

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“Dabangg Cosmos Maya” Credit: Cosmos Maya