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COMMISSION

U.K. broadcaster ITV has commissioned real-life drama “Stonehouse,” from “A Very English Scandal” writer John Preston, directed by BAFTA-nominated Jon S. Baird (“Stan & Ollie”). The three-part drama, produced by Snowed-In Productions and Clearwood Films, with BritBox International as co-production partners, follows the life and times of disgraced Labour politician John Stonehouse, a high-flying minister of Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s government vanished from the beach of a large luxury hotel in Florida in Nov. 1974, leaving a neatly folded pile of clothes as he swam into the sea, intent on faking his own death.

Matthew Macfadyen (“Succession,” “Quiz”) stars as Stonehouse with Keeley Hawes (“It’s A Sin”) as his wife Barbara. Macfadyen said: “What happened to John Stonehouse is the stuff of legend. I’ve always been intrigued by what motivated him to fake his own death, and leave behind the family he loved and doted upon and a promising political career. John Preston’s script truly captures the man and his colourful life and I’m looking forward to taking on his character.”

Streamer BritBox International will be the exclusive home to the series in the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. Banijay will be responsible for the international distribution of the drama.

APPOINTMENT

Emmy winning French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo has appointed Marion Claret to head its animation studio Ooolala in La Cartoucherie, France. A partner at Dandelooo, Claret also helped launch the Ooolala studio three years ago, founded by Jean Baptiste Wéry and Emmanuèle Pétry. Claret will lead a development slate of original productions, drive its expanding studio, and help supervise the pre-production teams. Claret joined Dandelooo in 2016 to produce the 2-D and live-action Emmy winning series “The Treehouse Stories” for Canal Plus and previously worked at French production companies Stromboli Films and Medialab Technology. Ooolala is currently in production on “Billy the Cowboy Hamster, a 2-D series for preschoolers, commissioned by France Televisions.

PLATFORM

Shorts International, owner of global short film network ShortsTV, has revealed that its popular free-to-view advertising supported short film channels, are now available on LG Smart TVs initially in the U.K. and Italy under the Shorts brand and in Spain under the Cortos brand. Shorts available include Martin McDonagh’s Oscar winning comedy “Six Shooter,” starring Brendan Gleeson, animation “One Small Step,” Benedict Cumberbatch in “Inseparable” and Olivia Colman in “The Karman Line.”

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“One Small Step” ShortsTV