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David Attenborough wildlife series tops BBCWW Showcase

At the kickoff of the annual BBC Worldwide Showcase in Liverpool, England, on Sunday (Feb. 18), the commercial arm of the BBC outlined its latest blue-chip wildlife series, with acclaimed ...
February 20, 2018

At the kickoff of the annual BBC Worldwide Showcase in Liverpool, England, on Sunday (Feb. 18), the commercial arm of the BBC outlined its latest blue-chip wildlife series, with acclaimed natural history presenter David Attenborough at the helm.

Each episode of the tentatively titled Dynasty (5 x 60; pictured) follows individual animals as they attempt to hold onto power and protect their family and territory.  Featured animals in the series are lions, hunting dogs, chimpanzees, tigers and emperor penguins.

The five-part landmark series is produced by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, in association with BBC America and France Télévisions.

Mike Gunton is executive producer. Rupert Barrington is series producer. Commissioners for the series are Charlotte Moore, BBC’s director of content, and Tom McDonald, head of commissioning for natural history and specialist factual.

Dynasty airs later this year on BBC1 and is expected to broadcast across BBC America in early 2019.

“The wonderful David Attenborough will inspire audiences once again when he brings the natural world to life on BBC1 with Dynasty,” said Moore in a statement. “Four years in the making, capturing extraordinary family dynamics and behavior, I hope these intimate animal dramas will connect with audiences just as Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II did.”

Elsewhere, BBC4 has commissioned Banijay Group-owned RDF Television to deliver Make! Craft Britain during the Get Creative Festival 2018, a nine-day UK-based fiesta that runs March 17 to 25.

The 3 x 60-minute docuseries will aim to celebrate the explosion of craft classes and workshops across Britain by inviting viewers to explore ancient and modern-day creative techniques.

The series will follow a group of students as they come to grips with two brand new crafts each week, while also featuring some of the best craft teachers working in UK today.

“With craft considered to be one of the best possible antidotes to the stresses of modern life, Make! Craft Britain celebrates that people around the country are discovering the simple pleasure of learning a new skill, and the enormous sense of pride and well-being that craft can bring as creativity is unleashed and hands are put to use,” said BBC commissioning executive Owen Courtney in a statement.

RDF’s Teresa Watkins is executive producer alongside senior producer Sam Burr. Lulu Valentine will direct.

Make! Craft Britainwas ordered by BBC4 channel editor Cassian Harrison.

BBC Worldwide also revealed it had secured a number of international sales deals for such key properties as Dancing With the Stars and You’re Back in the Room.

Icelandic commercial broadcaster Stod 2 will produce a localized version of competition format Dancing with the Stars.

Produced by RVK Studios, the format will be known locally as Allir Geta Dansað and will air on primetime every Sunday night beginning March 11.

Dancing With the Stars has now been sold to 55 countries and more than 300 seasons of the format have aired across the globe. Most recently, the format was sold into Brazil and Belgium, returning to the latter territory following a six-year hiatus.

The Tuesday’s Child-produced hypnosis format You’re Back In the Room, meanwhile, has been sold to Poland and Portugal.

Poland’s ATM Grupa will produce eight episodes of the series for free-to-air channel TVN under the local title Hipnoza, while Portugal’s Shine Iberia will produce 10 episodes for commercial broadcaster SIC under the title DivertidaMente.

Localized adaptations of the game show will be made available to Polish and Portuguese audiences from Spring 2018.

You’re Back In the Room has now been sold into 11 territories, joining Australia, French-speaking Canada, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, the U.S., Colombia, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Finally, BBC Worldwide has inked a deal with Chinese mobile video platform Migu Video that will see more than 2,200 hours of BBC content available to the China Mobile-owned company’s subscribers.

Migu Video’s subscribers will have access to BBC’s wide assortment of programs covering documentary, fact-ent, history, music & arts, news and current affairs, natural history and science. Titles included in the deal are Blue PlanetPlanet EarthAmazing Hotels: Life Beyond the LobbySteve Jobs: Billion Dollar HippyThe Truth About ExerciseSimon Reeve in Russia and U2- From the Sky Down.

All programs will either be subtitled or dubbed into Mandarin and be made available as AVOD and SVOD online, via mobile and on IPTV.

The deal marks BBC Worldwide’s first deal with a Chinese telco.

In November 2017, BBC announced that BBC Studios, its independent production unit, and BBC Worldwide, its commercial division, would merge to form one commercial entity. BBC Studios will begin operating as a single organization on April 1.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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