×

STREAMING

Discovery Plus will tap into South America’s largest customer base when it launches in Brazil this September. According to Discovery, the streamer’s offer will include original and exclusive content commissioned for the platform, as well as catalog programming from the family of Discovery Channels, TLC, Animal Plant, Food Network and HGTV.

Fernando Medin, president of Discovery Latin America, also announced that Discovery’s Latin American team is working with leading local and global production companies on more than 40 titles that will be released before the end of 2022 and is currently developing more than 150 new shows.

COMMISSION

Channel 4 has signed up the historic family behind the real-life Hogwarts — Alnwick Castle in Northumberland — to star in a six-part series called “The Duchess.” Produced by MGM Television, it will follow the Duchess of Northumberland as she embarks on building a £15 million ‘fairytale village’ called Lilidorei in the castle grounds.

Clemency Green, commissioning editor, daytime and features at Channel 4, says: “Over the years, Channel 4 has captured so many spectacular renovations and unique buildings that stay in our viewers’ memories. This series promises to follow suit with one the most striking builds we’ve ever witnessed –- an entire fairy kingdom in the North East.”

Green commissioned the series for Channel 4 alongside Jo Street, head of daytime and features. Dom Bird, senior VP of international unscripted television at MGM Television, and Vicky Hamburger will executive produce. – K.J. Yossman

PARTNERSHIP

The BBC and Northern Ireland Screen have renewed their partnership agreement for the development of the local screen industry for a seventh year. Northern Ireland is where BBC’s hugely successful police drama “Line of Duty” is filmed.

The new deal seeks to exceed the 3% investment of network television budget from the BBC, which has been the target for earlier agreements.  Between the last partnership renewal in March 2017 and March 2021, the BBC invested £70 million ($97 million) in network production from Northern Ireland, alongside some £10 million from Northern Ireland Screen leveraging an additional £55 million of third party funding.

During this period, the pair co-financed 56 Irish-language projects and 43 Ulster-Scots projects for broadcast in Northern Ireland. – Naman Ramachandran

Lazy loaded image
“Line of Duty” Courtesy of BritBox

APPOINTMENT

The BBC has appointed Cerrie Burnell to its Creative Diversity team in a newly created disability-focused role to strengthen the broadcaster’s commitment to disability representation on and off air. Burnell is joined by the BBC’s creative disability lead Kayu Ashton, and Nichola Garde, project manager of Elevate. The team will report to BBC head of creative diversity Miranda Wayland, charged with developing and delivering the BBC’s disability agenda. An actor, author and former TV presenter, Burnell spend the next year working with commissioning and production teams as an advocate for better on-screen portrayal of disability. In early 2020, she presented the BBC Two documentary “Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain,” part of a group of programming marking the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act.

FILM

Bollywood star and producer Ajay Devgn (“Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior”) and prolific producer V. Venkata Ramana Reddy aka Dil Raju (“Vakeel Saab”) are teaming for the Hindi-language remake of hit 2021 Telugu-language film “Naandhi.” Directed by Vijay Kanakamedala, “Naandhi” is a courtroom drama, which was a critical and commercial success when it released in India in February. Devgn will produce via his Devgn Ffilms, Reddy through Dil Raju Productions and the producers also include Kuldeep Rathore and Parag Desai’s Mumbai Talkeez. A director and cast are being finalized. – Naman Ramachandran