Milojo expands development team
Milojo Productions – the shingle from presenter Kelly Ripa and her partner, actor Mark Consuelos – has bolstered its development team with the appointment of Michael Halpern as manager of development.
In his new role, Halpern will be responsible for overseeing the development of the New York-based shingle’s scripted, non-scripted and digital projects. He will report into executive producer Albert Bianchini.
Most recently, Halpern served as a series development coordinator at DiGa and as a series development and production coordinator at MTV.
UK-based 360Production wins two U.S. commissions
Rare Television-owned factual indie 360Production has been commissioned by U.S. networks Smithsonian Channel and American Heroes Channel (AHC) to develop Survivor and the tentatively titled Pearl Harbor: The Heroes Who Fought Back, respectively.
Smithsonian has ordered the six-part series Survivor, which reveals the human stories behind some of the world’s worst disasters. The series will utilize drama, CGI, archive footage and interviews to bring each story to life. Smithsonian’s Charles Poe and John Cavanagh serve as executive producers.
Discovery Communications-owned AHC, meanwhile, has commissioned the 75th anniversary special Pearl Harbor: The Heroes Who Fought Back (w/t). The hour-long film will look to explore the untold stories of the Americans who turned the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, into a tale of valor and patriotism, leading to America’s entry into the Second World War. AHC’s Max Culhane serves as executive producer.
The programs are the first results of 360Production’s expansion into the U.S., which was prompted by incoming creative director Ailsa Orr (pictured). She serves as executive producer on both projects, alongside series producer Edward Hart.
Endemol, Zodiak Rights secure international sales
Endemol Shine Group has sold format The Big Benefits Handout to RTL in Germany, marking the first time the social experiment series will be made outside the UK. The German version is being produced by Endemol Shine Germany and will see families on government benefits given €25,000 cash in exchange for signing off benefits in order to see if the sum can turn their lives around. Created by Dragonfly, the show premiered on Channel 5 in the UK earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Zodiak Rights has sold several formats and finished programs into Central and Eastern Europe. Russia’s Friday TV has ordered a local version of reality hit Wife Swap that will be produced by Mastiff Russia. The same network has also picked up reality makeover format Ladette to Lady, which launched on Novy in Ukraine earlier this year. Meanwhile, Prima in the Czech Republic has acquired the game show Fort Beyond and TV2 in Hungary has ordered extreme singing challenge Killer Karaoke.