DRG cooks up talent-led deals with Blumenthal, Clunes

UK-based distributor DRG has concluded a raft of international sales for some of its biggest talent-led titles, inking overseas deals for Heston's Mission Impossible (pictured), Martin Clunes: Man To Manta and Beeny's Restoration Nightmare.
April 12, 2011

UK-based distributor DRG has concluded a raft of international sales for some of its biggest talent-led titles, inking overseas deals for Heston’s Mission Impossible (pictured), Martin Clunes: Man To Manta and Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare.

Heston’s Mission Impossible (4 x 50 minutes) has been picked up by Seven Network in Australia, VRT in Belgium and TVNZ in New Zealand; while one-off doc Martin Clunes: Man To Manta (1 x 60 minutes) has been acquired by Seven and TVNZ, with Mad Man Entertainment picking up DVD rights in Australia.

The former sees celeb chef Heston Blumenthal attempt to help four of Britain’s biggest brands – including airline British Airways – to transform the quality of the food they offer their customers; while the latter sees the titular British actor heading to the Cayman Islands in search of manta rays.

Elsewhere, the Renegade Pictures-produced Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare (3 x 60 minutes) – in which presenter and property developer Sarah Beeny attempts to renovate a listed, historic house in England – has been picked up by TVNZ, XYZ Networks in Australia, and SVT and TV3 in Sweden.

Greatest Cities of the World (6 x 60 minutes, HD), presented by comedian Griff Rhys Jones, has been acquired by BBC Channels for Poland and Asia, Arte France, Italian network Lei and Kavosh Television in Iran. ABC has picked up DVD rights in Australia.

Those deals come after previous sales of the Modern TV-produced title to Discovery HD in Canada, ERT in Greece, Living Channel in New Zealand, TV3 in Spain, YLE in Finland, DR in Denmark and ABC in Australia.

Finally, Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance (6 x 50 minutes) has sold to Nine Network Australia, TVNZ, TV2 Norway and TV3 in Denmark. The series sees the Supernanny star exploring issues that affect children’s lives while giving advice to parents.

Talking to realscreen, DRG’s senior VP of international sales Patrick Roberts said that presenter- and celebrity-led factual shows were increasingly working abroad. “It used to be the case that our French and German partners told us that presenter-led shows don’t work for them,” he said, “but now they’re increasingly starting to find places for them.”

In related news, Discovery Channel in the U.S. has set an air date for The Real King’s Speech, a 1212 Productions-made documentary that explores the relationship between King George VI and his speech therapist Lionel Logue.

The doc, which DRG distributes, will air April 16 at 7 p.m. EST.


About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.