FremantleMedia has secured global rights outside the UK and North America to Love Productions’ controversial series Benefits Street (pictured), which follows the residents of a low-income Birmingham community.
The series, which some viewers have labelled “poverty porn,” has come under fire for depicting the lives of residents on one of Britain’s most welfare-dependent neighborhoods as they struggle with raising children in poverty, low levels of education and crime. Due to the strong reactions elicited by the series, an additional live debate show, Benefits Street: The Last Word, has been commissioned, and a second series is being planned.
FremantleMedia will launch the series internationally at next month’s MIPTV market.
“It is a noisy, gloves-off, groundbreaking reality series that at times is touching and heartwarming,” said Rob Clark, director of global entertainment development at FremantleMedia, in a statement. “It covers a social issue that affects us all and cannot be ignored. I watched it on Channel 4 and am proud to launch it internationally at MIPTV.”
Richard McKerrow, chief executive of Love Productions, added: “Benefits Street caused a huge stir when it was broadcast in the UK, engaging record-breaking audiences in serious social issues.”