BBC One renews “Staged”; Tencent strikes European deals; U.K. Producers’ Guild launches diversity plan; India’s PVR adds former IMAX chief; and Channel 4 orders royal documentary series.
U.K. broadcaster BBC has ordered a second season of comedy “Staged,” created by Simon Evans and Phin Glynn, and starring Michael Sheen (“Good Omens”) and David Tennant (“Des”) from Infinity Hill and GCB Films.
Shot during lockdown, the first season starred Tennant and Sheen as two actors whose West End play has been put on hold due to COVID-19, but whose director has persuaded them to carry on rehearsing online. The new series sees the pair attempt to navigate their new normal at home with their increasingly exasperated families, while simultaneously trying to tackle the world of virtual Hollywood.
Following on from the surprise appearances in season one of Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson, this season will have more celebrity guests.
Leading Chinese streaming platform Tencent Video has agreed co-production deals with European studios Zeilt Productions, Sixteen South, and Silvergate Media to develop and produce kids properties with global appeal. The three deals mark the start of Tencent Video’s multi-year strategy to partner with major international studios across Europe in mutually beneficial co-production agreements.
First up is five-part 3D animation and live action series “Deep in the Bowl,” inspired by the popular French comic books “Le Fond du Bocal” by Nicolas Poupon, which depicts amazing aquariums with a fishy cast whose experiences mirror those of children’s daily lives. Tencent Video is producing with Zelit, with additional funding from Film Fund Luxembourg.
The Production Guild of Great Britain has launched a new Diversity and Inclusion Action Group (DIAG) to create an action plan to improve diversity in the U.K.’s film and television production workforce behind the camera.
The DIAG comprises 25 PGGB members working in high level positions in a range of fields across film and TV production. It is chaired by production manager Malika Keswani and vice chairs are production finance manager Chika Anisiobi and producer Mia Martell.
India’s largest multiplex chain PVR has appointed Greg Foster, former CEO of IMAX Entertainment and senior executive vice president of IMAX Corporation, to its board of directors, with a view to him contributing to its post-pandemic strategy. Foster owns and operates Foster + Crew, Inc., an entertainment and media consulting firm based in Los Angeles.
PVR operates 845 screens at 176 properties in 71 cities across India and Sri Lanka.
U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has commissioned factual producer Blink Films (“Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview”) to produce a three-part series with the working title “Royals Declassified.” Using declassified documents and new interviews, the series will unveil the secrets behind Queen Elizabeth’s reign and her relationships with her husband, family, British and foreign politicians.
Executive producers are Dan Chambers and Tom Adams. Directors are Andy Webb and Ian Hunt. It was commissioned for Channel 4 by Fatima Salaria and is being overseen at Channel 4 by Shaminder Nahal. The films are being distributed internationally by Fremantle.