In today’s Global Bulletin, musical “Anything Goes” sets London revival; iZen signs diversity pact with LineLight; BET launches in Brazil; MTV’s “True Life Crime” gets U.K. version; and Banijay’s refreshed “Changing Rooms” format returns to Germany and U.K.
Cole Porter and P.G. Wodehouse’s classic musical “Anything Goes,” will open at London’s Barbican Theatre from July 23 for a 12-week summer engagement. Starring Emmy and SAG Award winner Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”), Tony, Olivier and BAFTA Award winner Robert Lindsay (“Me & My Girl”), Felicity Kendal (“The Good Life”) and Gary Wilmot (“Chicago”), the production is directed and choreographed by three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall.
Marshall’s 2011 Broadway revival of “Anything Goes” was a hit and nominated for nine Tony Awards and 10 Drama Desk Awards, winning best musical revival and best choreography at both ceremonies.
The musical is set on an ocean liner on a journey across the Atlantic and features some of theater’s most memorable songs, including “I Get A Kick Out of You,” “Anything Goes” and “It’s De-Lovely.”
iZen U.K. has entered a creative diversity partnership with LineLight, a new talent and employment consultancy. iZen, the U.K. arm of the producer-owned content production outfit iZen Group, is composed of Chalkboard TV, Storyboard Studios and Clapperboard.
Under the deal, LineLight will work with the iZen U.K. companies to identify and develop new talent through regular workshops and internships; create a fund to develop script ideas with potential to get on-screen; and recruit staff from under-represented backgrounds into all levels of existing productions.
LineLight was founded by Gabriella Lafor, a production coordinator at ITN Productions and one of the inaugural winners of the David Lyle Foundation scholarship, which helps young executives to build successful careers in the international television business. The partnership was brokered with LineLight and Lafor by iZen U.K. managing director Mike Benson and Natalie Humphreys, founder and managing director of Storyboard Studios.
ViacomCBS Networks International‘s BET (Black Entertainment Television) will debut in Brazil on free streaming platform Pluto TV on March 26. Already in 75 countries around the world, BET provides television programming for Black audiences. The 24/7 channel will be available for free and will bring Brazilian audiences BET content dubbed into Portuguese.
Programming includes “Being Mary Jane,” starring Gabrielle Union; “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” starring Kevin Hart; “American Soul,” created by Jonathan Prince and Devon Gregory; “Boomerang,” a comedy series from executive producers Lena Waithe and Halle Berry; and Tyler Perry’s most popular titles including “Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living,” “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” “Tyler Perry’s The Oval” and “Tyler Perry’s Sistas.”
MTV International will launch reporter-led investigative series “True Life Crime U.K.” on Apr. 7. The four-episode documentary series is hosted by broadcast journalist Linda Adey who investigates the stories of four lives gone too soon, addressing haunting revelations and exposing new questions.
The U.K. version follows the success of “True Life Crime,” MTV’s expansion of its Emmy-winning True Life franchise. “True Life Crime” premiered in the U.S. in 2020 following award-winning journalist and MTV News host Dometi Pongo as he investigates shocking crimes committed against young people. The series performed strongly in the U.K., ranking in the top 10 shows of 2020 and was also ranked in the top five shows of 2020 in the Netherlands and Australia.
“True Life Crime U.K.” is commissioned for MTV International by Kerry Taylor and Craig Orr. The executive producers for MTV International are Orr and Iestyn Barker, the executive producer for ViacomCBS International Studios U.K. is Jeff Anderson and the series producer is Nick Kenton.
Meanwhile, Banijay’s home renovation format “Changing Rooms,” which began on the BBC in the U.K. in 1996 is returning to its home market in a refreshed version. Produced by Shine TV, the U.K. series will air on Channel 4, in partnership with Dulux.
The format is also making a comeback in Germany after 15 years. Commercial broadcaster RTL ZWEI has ordered a four-part series from Banijay Productions Germany, which is set to air later this year.
The format has made recent returns in the U.S. where it is known as “Trading Spaces,” as well as Australia, and has had 12 international iterations.
“Changing Rooms” sees two sets of homeowners from the same neighbourhood work against the clock to renovate a room in each other’s houses. They might not share the same tastes, but they are completely in charge of creating a new look for the chosen room – and anything goes.