The BBC has commissioned six factual entertainment shows. In BBC Two series “Trailblazers,” produced by Studio Ramsay, Ruby Wax, Melanie Brown and Emily Atack follow in the footsteps of pioneering traveller Isabella Bird as they set off on their own American adventure across the Rocky Mountains. BBC Three adventure challenge series “Warrior Island,” from Wall To Wall West, follows eight young people who want to transform their body and mind. Celebrity couples put their relationship to the ultimate test in BBC One competition format, “Unbreakable,” by 110% Content. “Inside The Airport,” produced by Wonderhood Studios for BBC One, sees aviation expert Jeremy Spake at Heathrow, to see how the airport is coping during a time when the U.K. is emerging from the pandemic. And, following a successful pilot in 2020, engineering and adventure series “The Speedshop,” by Grant Wardrop Productions, follows custom bike builder Titch Cormack and his team as they take on a range of mechanical challenges, converting broken and battered vehicles into bespoke machines.
Catherine Catton, BBC head of commissioning, popular factual and factual entertainment, said that the new commissions “demonstrate the strength of the department, with exciting new shows that engage with timely issues and bring some much needed escapism and fun.”
Meanwhile, principal photography has been completed on six-part BBC comedy thriller series, “Am I Being Unreasonable?,” written by and starring BAFTA winner Daisy May Cooper (“This Country”) and Selin Hizli (“Mum”). The series is executive produced by Jack Thorne (“His Dark Materials,” “Help”). Co-produced by Boffola Pictures and Lookout Point, the series sees Nic (Cooper) grieving a loss that she can’t share with anyone whilst stuck in a depressing marriage. Only her son, Ollie (Lenny Rush, “Apple Tree House”) who she adores, keeps her going. But when Jen (Selin Hizli) arrives in town her life is lit up with laughter but a dark secret starts to bubble up. The cast also includes BAFTA winner Jessica Hynes (“There She Goes”), Dustin Demri-Burns (“Cardinal Burns”), Amanda Wilkin (“The Split”), David Fynn (“Game of Thrones”), Juliet Cowan (“Back to Life”), Ruben Catt (“Ted’s Top Ten”), and Karla Crome (“Under the Dome”).
About Premium Content (APC) has signed several new international sales for all three seasons of hit BBC/S4C drama series “Keeping Faith.” Disney Plus has acquired SVOD rights for all seasons for its streaming outlet Star in the Netherlands and Belgium. All three seasons have also been acquired by Okko (SVOD) and Showjet (AVOD) in Russia. Renewing for season 3 are Stod 2 in Iceland (pay TV and SVOD), TV4 Sweden (free TV), C-MORE Nordics (SVOD) and RTBF Belgium (free TV), while TV2 Denmark has acquired free TV rights to seasons 1 and 2. Recently secured deals for season 3 include with AMC Networks International Southern Europe (Spain and Portugal), TG4 Ireland and Pickbox for the Balkans, MTVA in Hungary and Antena TV Group SA in Romania, Yes-DBS in Israel, CANAL Plus and Ale Kino Plus in Poland and RTP Portugal.
APC has also extended its co-production deal with Acorn Media Enterprises for all rights to the third season of “Keeping Faith” across the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand for AMC Networks’ streamer Acorn TV, plus home entertainment in the U.K. and Ireland. Fox in Germany has also extended its agreement for season 3 along with TV4 Media, which has taken SVOD rights to all seasons for Denmark, Norway and Sweden and has also taken free TV rights for TV4 Sweden.
The series is produced by Vox Pictures for S4C and BBC Wales and gap-financed by Nevision. In the third season, created by Matthew Hall, Eve Myles returns as Faith Howells, alongside Bradley Freegard as Evan Howells and Mark Lewis Jones as Steve Baldini. Olivier winning Celia Imrie (“Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) also joined the cast, with Pip Broughton and Judith Dine directing.
Banijay Asia has appointed Rajesh Chadha to head its Indian scripted business as executive VP and business head. Chadha has led projects at Endemol and at BBC Studios he has worked on “Criminal Justice” and “Out of Love” and on “Rudra,” the streaming debut of Bollywood star Ajay Devgn.
Animation studio Aniventure (“Riverdance: The Animated Adventure”) has tapped former Disney/Pixar exec John Blas as chief marketing officer.
He will lead the company’s global marketing and brand strategy as well as support development of key franchises and properties. Blas spent over 20 years at the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, where he rose to the position of senior vice president of worldwide creative services for Disney and Pixar before leaving in 2007. He went on to found creative advertising and marketing agency NCS Creative Inc which provided services for Sony Pictures Animation and Illumination Studios among others.
“We have a growing collection of brands and IP, and we can’t wait for John to make his mark on them and help us take Aniventure forward,” said Aniventure producer Adam Nagle.