Unscripted

MIPTV ’14: Ovation nabs Zodiak’s “Ballet,” Susan Boyle special

U.S. arts and culture net Ovation has picked up a trio of series from London-based distributor Zodiak Rights, including Big Ballet, Show Me the Monet and a Susan Boyle special (pictured), all of which are slated to air within the quarter.
April 7, 2014

U.S. arts and culture net Ovation has picked up a trio of series from London-based distributor Zodiak Rights, including Big Ballet, Show Me the Monet and a Susan Boyle special (pictured), all of which are slated to air within the quarter.

The Rare Day-produced Big Ballet (3 x 60 minutes) follows amateur, overweight ballet dancers who aspire to become professional ballerinas, while Lucky Day Productions-made format Show Me the Monet – which premieres April 9 – puts the work of budding artists to the test when their amateur work is presented to members of the unsuspecting public. Thirdly, Ovation has acquired a one-hour special produced by Firecracker Films on singer Susan Boyle, who shot to fame after a Britain’s Got Talent performance, set to air in May.

Michelle Zajic, senior VP of acquisitions and coproductions for Ovation, tells realscreen that the net has high hopes for Show Me the Monet and its performance in the U.S.

“We’re starting to think about formats, so something like Show Me the Monet would be great,” she says. “If the UK version worked, it would be a great format for us to replicate in the U.S. simply because we’re interested in having shows that feature the average person showing off their hidden talent.”

The net has also acquired two limited series from UK distributor DRG, including art critic Waldemar Januszczak-hosted series The Impressionists and Rococo. In the art series, Januszczak will make high art accessible to audiences by touching on interesting and irreverent aspects of various works and artists from the two periods.

Ovation’s other recent acquisitions include a licensing deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment for U.S. premiere rights for the series Celebrity Exposed: The Photography of Richard Young (5 x 30 minutes), and music-focused, one-hour specials Viva Coldplay, An Audience with Lionel Ritchie, Disney/Pixar, and Lang Lang. The net has also picked up a six-part series from Content Television entitled The Royals, which will focus on aspects of the British Royal Family and air in April.

Zajic says Ovation is also in production on a series entitled Prodigies, which will showcase talented youth and their journeys toward becoming professionals in their fields.

At MIPTV, which kicks off today (April 7), Zajic says she will be on the look-out for more arts-related content with less of an academic feel.

“We really want to broaden out the appeal of the arts and, in a sense, democratize it,” says the exec. “Rather than being just for those that have studied it, it should be for everyone.”

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