In today’s Global Bulletin, Miguel judges BBC fashion show; representation plummets across U.K. TV; AMC launches channel in Spain; Synchronicity signs first-look deal with All3Media; WFTN produces Sydney Harbour show; ESPN Plus takes West Indies cricket rights; Patrick Irwin joins Ringside; and U.S. celebrates Nordic women in film.
Grammy-winning musician Miguel will serve as mentor and judge on “The Drop,” a streetwear competition commissioned by BBC Three from Renowned Films.
The eight-part show is a new competitive format that aims to capture the cultural synergy between fashion, music, sport, celebrity and business and to provide one individual with a life-changing prize. Across the series, which will be filmed in Manchester, the creatives are mentored by two influential figures and complete themed weekly challenges that help them develop their brand.
In addition to his music career, Miguel has his own lifestyle and apparel brand.
“The Drop” is commissioned by Fiona Campbell, controller for BBC Three, and Jo Wallace, acting controller for BBC Entertainment. Executive producers are Kate Maddigan and Renowned co-founders, Max Welch, Tim Withers and Duane Jones.
Off-screen contributions from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in the U.K. TV industry have fallen from 12.3% last year to 11.8% in 2019-20, below the national workforce estimate of 13%, the Creative Diversity Network‘s annual report from its Diamond diversity monitoring and reporting system reveals.
The lack of representation is more apparent off-screen than on-screen, especially among disabled people, over-50’s, transgender, and those from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic group. It is acute in senior level, decision-making roles, where the numbers of contributions by women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals has fallen over the past year and where disabled people are still very under-represented.
The data gathered for the report are from the five main Diamond broadcasters: BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5/ViacomCBS and Sky.
AMC Networks International Southern Europe (AMCNISE) will launch new channel Selekt in Spain from Feb. 4 on pay TV operators Vodafone TV and Orange TV. A linear channel, Selekt features content and formats from AMC Networks’ 11 thematic channels, including children’s content, ten hours of lifestyle programming, documentaries and primetime movies and series.
The service adds to recent carriage partnerships in Spain, such as DAZN on Movistar Plus, and comes as channel creators and the country’s dominant pay TV operators experiment with new ways to appeal to audiences in one of the most competitive pay TV markets in Europe. – John Hopewell
FIRST LOOK DEAL
U.K. and Australia-based “The Cry” producer Synchronicity Films has signed an exclusive first-look deal with independent distributor All3Media International for all upcoming scripted television projects.
Synchronicity’s upcoming scripted series slate includes several originals, alongside novel adaptations such as “Mayflies” by Andrew O’Hagan, Heather Morris’ “The Tattooist of Auschwitz,” Craig Russell’s “Lennox” series of books, Shankari Chandran’s “Song of the Sun God” and several of “The Cry” author Helen FitzGerald’s novels, including her latest “Ash Mountain.”
Australian independent production company WFTN has gone into production on “Sydney Harbour Force,” a joint commission by Discovery U.K. and Discovery Australia and New Zealand.
The ten-hour observational documentary series will follow the struggles and triumphs of the dedicated team of men and women who control every aspect of Sydney Harbour, one of the largest and busiest natural harbours on the planet. The show is being produced with the support of Screen NSW and is expected to deliver in the third quarter of 2021.
Fred Media, the international distributor owned by WTFN, has agreed a pre-sale for “Sydney Harbour Force” with German broadcaster Seven.One Entertainment Group.
ESPN Plus has signed a five-year agreement with Cricket West Indies for exclusive U.S. rights to all men’s and women’s matches in the International Cricket Council Future Tours Program played in the Caribbean. The deal also includes domestic CWI matches for a total of 124 matches including 20 Tests, 46 ODI and 58 T20s.
The deal kicks off Feb. 7 with domestic tournaments. International matches begin March 2, when Sri Lanka tours the West Indies. Additional tours this year include Australia, South Africa and Pakistan, with India (2022, 2023), New Zealand (2022, 2024) and England (2022, 2024) among others set for subsequent years.
Patrick Irwin, whose credits include “The Fall” and “Jonathan Strange & Mrs Norrell,” has joined Ringside Studios, the production house founded last year as a joint venture between French drama producer Newen and award-winning British executive Gub Neal, as an executive producer.
Irwin previously worked at Box TV, the independent drama producer founded by Neal, where his credits included “The Wind in the Willows” (BBC/CBC), “Reversals” (ITV) and “The Last Enemy” (BBC/WGBH).
WOMEN IN FILM
From Feb. 2 to March 3, the five Nordic Embassies in the U.S., together with Women in Film and Television International, are presenting five films from the Nordic countries, all directed by women, and five conversations with female Nordic and U.S. filmmakers.
The events will revolve around Zaida Bergroth‘s “Tove” (pictured, Finland), May el-Toukhy‘s “Queen of Hearts,” (Denmark), Maria Sødahl‘s “Hope,” (Norway), Mia Engberg‘s “Lucky One” (Sweden) and Ísold Uggadóttir‘s “And Breathe Normally” (Iceland).