In today’s Global Bulletin, Entertainment One picks up the rights to Australian drama “The Newsreader,” Banijay reorganizes in Iberia, “Downton Abbey” lands on BritBox, Sony Pictures Television hires Jo Porter and Warner Bros. International will distribute Hungry Bear Media’s new game show.
Entertainment One (eOne) has acquired international distribution rights to “The Newsreader,” a new drama series coming to ABC TV in Australia, produced by Werner Film Productions.
Set in the 1980s, the series unspools in a high energy newsroom, turning on the relationship between a young TV reporter and the show’s star female anchor. The cast features several high-profile actors including Anna Torv (“Mindhunter”), Sam Reid (“Lambs of God”), Robert Taylor (“Longmire”), Stephen Peacocke (“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”), Chai Hansen (“The New Legends of Monkey”) and Marg Downey (“Fast Forward”).
“The Newsreader” is backed by major investments from Screen Australia and the ABC and financed with support from Film Victoria. Michael Lucas (“Offspring”) created and wrote the series and produced with Joanna Werner. Emma Freeman (“Stateless”) directed. Executive producers include Werner and Stuart Menzies, with Salley Riley and Bree Sleigh representing ABC.
As part of its operations restructuring in Spain and Portugal, Banijay has appointed Magnolia managing director Amparo Castellano to the same role at “The Bridge” production company Zeppelin and is moving all of DLO/Magnolia’s unscripted projects to that company along with her.
In the role, Castellano will be responsible for the creation of new international IP, reporting to Banijay Iberia CEO Pilar Blasco. Zeppelin has established itself as the leading Spanish anime company on the back of series such as “The Idhun Chronicles” for Netflix and “Virtual Hero” for Movistar Plus, while managing major unscripted titles such as “Big Brother” (“Gran Hermano”).
DLO/ Magnolia’s scripted projects will continue to run within the label, under the direction of José Manuel Lorenzo.
Julian Fellowes’ iconic series “Downton Abbey,” produced by Carnival Films, headlines a collection of hundreds of content heading to BritBox this December, giving the platform America’s largest catalog of period dramas.
All six seasons of “Downton Abbey” will be available on Britbox, joined by other hits such as “North and South,” “A Tale of Two Cities,” “Sense & Sensibility,” “Middlemarch,” “Wuthering Heights,” “The Paradise” and many more.
BritBox has been expanding its period drama collection throughout the year, having already acquired North America’s largest collection of Agatha Christie adaptations as well as a 4K HD remaster of 1995’s Colin Firth-starrer “Pride and Prejudice.”
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has named Fremantle Australia’s Jo Porter as its new managing director of Australian production company Playmaker Media in 2021.
At Fremantle since 2012, Porter’s recent credits include the multi-award-winning drama “Wentworth,” commissioned by Foxtel, which eventually sold to more than 170 territories worldwide and was remade in four other languages. She was also executive producer on “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” which played in Berlin and Tribeca before selling to over 160 territories.
Playmaker, an SPT company since 2014, produced hit series “The Code” for ABC, “Love Child” and “House Husbands” for Nine Network, International Emmy-nominated “Slide” for Foxtel and “Reckoning” for Netflix.
Warner Bros. International TV Production and Hungry Bear Media have announced a partnership in which the former will act as exclusive international distributor for “The Wheel,” a new game show from Hungry Bear hosted by BAFTA winner Michael McIntyre.
Premiering this week in the U.K., the quiz show features a spinning wheel of celebrities that will help contestants win cash prizes.
“The Wheel” was commissioned at the BBC by director of content Charlotte Moore, BBC One controller Kate Phillips and commissioning editor Kalpna Patel-Knight. Dan Baldwin and Tom Blakeson produce for Hungry Bear Media.