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FremantleMedia takes partial global rights to “Benefits”

FremantleMedia has secured global rights outside the UK and North America to Love Productions' controversial series Benefits Street (pictured), which follows the residents of a low-income Birmingham community.
March 19, 2014

FremantleMedia has secured global rights outside the UK and North America to Love Productions’ controversial series Benefits Street (pictured), which follows the residents of a low-income Birmingham community.

The series, which some viewers have labelled “poverty porn,” has come under fire for depicting the lives of residents on one of Britain’s most welfare-dependent neighborhoods as they struggle with raising children in poverty, low levels of education and crime. Due to the strong reactions elicited by the series, an additional live debate show, Benefits Street: The Last Word, has been commissioned, and a second series is being planned.

FremantleMedia will launch the series internationally at next month’s MIPTV market.

“It is a noisy, gloves-off, groundbreaking reality series that at times is touching and heartwarming,” said Rob Clark, director of global entertainment development at FremantleMedia, in a statement. “It covers a social issue that affects us all and cannot be ignored. I watched it on Channel 4 and am proud to launch it internationally at MIPTV.”

Richard McKerrow, chief executive of Love Productions, added: “Benefits Street caused a huge stir when it was broadcast in the UK, engaging record-breaking audiences in serious social issues.”

 

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 HMV.com. 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.

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