London-based distributor DRG has acquired global rights to the ZCZ Films-produced arts series The Dark Ages: Age of Light (four x 60-minutes).
Due to air in the United Kingdom this fall on BBC4, the series follows arts writer Waldemar Januszczak (pictured) as he travels across Europe, Africa and Asia to show viewers how The Dark Ages were a period of great artistic achievement.
Patrick Roberts, DRG’s SVP of international sales, says the buys are part of a renewed interest in arts programming that’s being driven by arts-centric channels, such as Australia’s Studio, Italy’s Sky Arte HD, New Zealand’s The Arts Channel, Brazilian Pay TV service Globosat’s Philos and Pramer’s Film and Arts in Latin America.
“Arts programming has moved away from being something you might find in occasional arts slots to a growth area in factual over the past two or three years. We have particularly thematic channels which are dedicated to arts and culture programming,” Roberts said in an interview with realscreen.
“These series work not just because they’re about art, but a lot of them combine elements of travel and art. They can also be slotted into history slots and sometimes into travel slots so there’s a real flexibility about them,” he added.
The company also recently sold two other ZCZ Films-produced series starring Januszczak – The Impressionists (4 x 60-minutes) and Baroque (3 x 60-minutes) in around 60 and 80 territories, respectively. Both were part of a 50-hour package sold to Sky Arte HD, which launched in Italy this past summer.
Additionally, DRG sold The Impressionists to Australian pubcaster SBS and Baroque to Australia’s ABC network, Canada’s Knowledge and TVO, American arts and culture cable net Ovation, Denmark’s DR and Spain’s TV3 Catalonia.