eOne Hires Universal International Studios’ Christopher Kennedy For Development Post
Entertainment One has hired Christopher Kennedy from Universal International Studios as Development Executive – UK, Television. In the new role, Kennedy will oversee development for the studio’s original scripted drama slate, with a focus on relationships with top-tier UK talent. He’ll be based in London and report to Sharon Hughff, eOne’s Creative Director, Scripted Television – UK, who joined in February from Left Bank Pictures to expand the producer-distributor’s slate of scripted content for buyers in Europe and Asia. At Universal International Studios, Kennedy oversaw development of series such as Everyone Else Burns for Channel 4 and the BBC’s Dodger and worked on Peter Kosminsky’s Channel 4 and Peacock co-pro Darkness Rising.
International Insider: Pact Vs Bectu; Netflix India; Boutonnat Controversy; Euro Heatwave
Good afternoon Insiders, Max Goldbart here. We’ve got all the news and analysis you need as we end another week in which temperatures hit record highs and relations between the UK’s biggest TV union and trade body hit dispiriting lows. Pact Vs Bectu Verbal warfare: Rumbling along in the UK TV drama sector has been a dispute that broke into all out verbal warfare this week over the Bectu/Pact TV drama agreement.
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Networks Hook Sinking Ship’s ‘Odd Squad’ And ‘Annedroids’
EXCLUSIVE: Canadian kids series Odd Squad and Annedroids have secured new sales. Comedic maths series Odd Squad has sold to children’s streamer Kixi in Germany, while Amazon Prime Video original STEM series Annedroids has gone to Pop in the UK and Mexican educational network Canal Once. “Both Annedroids and Odd Squad continue to travel the world and add new broadcast partners and fans, as they both resonate with kids and parents all over,” said Kate Sanagan, Sinking Ship’s Head of Sales and Distribution. Live action-series Odd Squad, co-produced by Sinking Ship and Fred Rogers Productions for PBS KIDS, in association with TVOkids, follows a core team of young agents from a high-tech organization run by kids who investigate odd phenomena and use maths to put right problems, while live-action/CGI hybrid Annedroids the story of budding scientist Anne who builds robots to help her perform experiments with her friends Nick and Shania, and her android creations. Sinking Ship produces it in association with TVOkids, SRC and KiKa. These latest deals come after non-exclusive streaming rights for Odd Squad were licensed to HBO Max in Latin America.
‘The Vampire Diaries’ Star Daniel Gillies To Join Roku Original And ABC Australia Drama ‘The Newsreader’ As Series Regular
EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Gillies, known for roles in The Vampire Diaries and Virgin Rivers, is joining the cast of Roku’s acclaimed Australian drama The Newsreader. The Canadian-born, New Zealand-raised actor is taking a series regular role and will join the likes of Anna Torv, Sam Reid, William McInnes and Robert Taylor in the second season of the series, which is set in the cutthroat world of 1980s TV news in Melbourne, Australia.
Jason Watkins, Aneurin Barnard And Brenda Fricker Among Cast For Channel 5 Psychological Thriller ‘The Catch’
British network Channel 5 has unveiled cast for its four-part psychological thriller The Catch, which is based on author T.M. Logan’s novel of the same name and comes from Projector Pictures, in association with Night Train Media and All3Media International. BAFTA-winner Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, W1A) is the lead, playing a proud father and local fisherman determined to keep his family together. Aneurin Barnard (Peaking Blinders, Time) plays a rich handsome younger man who enters the life of Watkins’ daughter, played by Poppy Gilbert (Chloe, Stay Close), and threatens to take her away. Also cast are Cathy Belton (Hidden Assets, Miss Scarlet & The Duke), Academy Award-winner Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot), Ian Pirie (Halo), Jade Jordan (Redemption) and newcomer Morgan Palmer. Michael Crompton (The Holiday, Silent Witness) and Robert Quinn (McDonald & Dodds, The Bay) are adapting Logan’s novel for the small screen.
‘Neighbours’ Final Episode Draws Record-Breaking Audience; Fans Tune In For Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce And Fellow Stars’ Farewell
Three million British viewers tuned in to the final episode of Australian soap Neighbours, waving off a TV stalwart after 37 years. The double-episode special drew this peak audience as the show drew to a close, according to overnight figures, with an average audience of 2.5million. The hour-long finale aired on Friday evening in the UK on Channel 5. Fans took to social media with praise for the last show, which recruited star alumnae Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Margot Robbie made a cameo appearance from Los Angeles, while singers Natalie Imbruglia and Holly Valance filmed a scene from London, where they both live.
Viaplay Bags ‘Crisis In Cocaine Valley’ Doc From Germany
Viaplay has landed streaming rights to Crisis in Cocaine Valley from the one-hour feature doc’s co-financier and distributor Quintus Media. The doc, which is from Quintus’ German compatriot Maximus Film, reveals how the Covid crisis has led to the near extinction of the massive cocaine production sites deep in the rainforest of the Peruvian Andes. Featuring exclusive access to numerous key players in the region, the doc’s makers successfully track down abandoned and active cocaine pools and drug labs to uncover the pandemic’s impact on the drug trade, and reveals how parts of ‘Cocaine Valley’ have collapsed, and with it, the local economy. Quintus and Maximus co-financed the doc through the Quintus Content Club, an initiative launched in March to streamline the development of funding of factual programs.
ITN Productions Expands In UK Regions; Adds London Role
ITN Productions is making a push into the UK’s out-of-London factual TV production hotspots and hiring a development executive in the capital. The production arm of news provider ITN has had more than 1,000 hours commissioned and/or transmitted so far on show such as Jeremy Vine, The Andrew Neil Show and the recent Conservative Leader Debate, and is now hiring a Head of Regions at its Leeds office to handle demand. The successful hire will start in the fall and further regional hires will follow, along with a new Development Executive in London. Furthermore, current Head of Development Georgina Mantle will see her role expand as she takes on the title of Creative Director.
Mipcom Cannes: Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier To Deliver Media Mastermind Keynote Address
Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier will give a keynote speech at Mipcom in October, as the event prepares to welcome back several U.S. and UK studios following pandemic-triggered absences. The event, which has been quietly rebranded as Mipcom Cannes in recent weeks, runs from October 17-20 at the Palais des Festivals and Collier will take to the stage on the first day to deliver a Media Mastermind address to an audience of global TV execs and creatives.
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