The BBC Studios Natural History Unit has commissioned three series for BBC One, BBC Two and iPlayer. “Mammals” (6 x 60’), coproduced by France Televisions, ZDF and BBC America, offers insights into the most widespread animal group in the world.
“Big Little Journeys” (3 x 60’), coproduced by PBS, follows the real-life adventures of six tiny animals as they voyage into the unknown. “Wild Scandinavia” (3 x 60’), coproduced by PBS and Sveriges Television, and narrated by actor Rebecca Ferguson (“Dune”), celebrates the wildlife, landscapes and culture of the furthest northern reaches of Europe.
BBC Studios is handling international distribution and will present the series to international customers at BBC Studios Showcase taking place on Feb. 27 and 28.
Meanwhile, the BBC has also commissioned two one-off entertainment shows to celebrate the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. “The Greatest Show on Earth” (working title), produced by Little Gem, will celebrate 25 years since the U.K. last hosted the contest, with 25 reasons why the Eurovision Song Contest is “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
“And The Winner Isn’t” (working title), produced by Merseyside-based Shearwater Media, charts the success of those Eurovision Song Contest entrants who may not have scored enough points to win the iconic competition, but have gone on to be successful in the music industry. Both shows will broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in May.
BentFrame Film & TV, the Toronto-based production company founded by Adrienne Mitchell (“Durham County”), and Cineflix Studios (“Tehran”) will adapt Heather Marshall’s bestselling novel “Looking for Jane” as a series. Celeste Parr (“Ethel”) will serve as creator and showrunner.
Spanning six decades and multiple timelines, “Looking for Jane” follows three women whose lives are bound together by a long-lost letter and a secret network of women fighting for the right to choose. The novel is inspired by true stories of the real-life Jane Collective that provided safe but illegal abortions under the constant threat of police raids and prison. The collective was the subject of 2022 Sundance and Berlin title “Call Jane.”
Zach Marcovici will produce the series for BentFrame, with Sonia Hosko and Brett Burlock serving as executive producers for Cineflix Studios.
Queensland production studio The Steve Jaggi Company has announced a name change to Jaggi Entertainment, ahead of what it says is a busy production slate in 2023. The studio encompasses development and production, post-production and a newly formed co-financing division. It also recently opened an office in Victoria state. The company’s recent production highlights include Netflix original series “Dive Club,” “This Little Love of Mine” (Netflix), “Romance on the Menu” (Hallmark & Netflix) and premium large format feature documentary “Beyond The Reef” released in English and Mandarin, and featuring actor, writer and social media superstar Shuang Hu.