Extra: Frank Scherma to head Television Academy; Bandicoot greenlights “Test Drive”

Frank Scherma elected chairman and CEO of Television Academy The Television Academy’s board of governors has elected Frank Scherma as its chairman and CEO. Scherma’s (pictured) two-year term will begin on Jan ...
November 16, 2018

Frank Scherma elected chairman and CEO of Television Academy

The Television Academy’s board of governors has elected Frank Scherma as its chairman and CEO.

Scherma’s (pictured) two-year term will begin on Jan 1. He succeeds Hayma Washington who has held the position since January 2017.

Scherma is currently president of multidisciplinary studio RadicalMedia.

He assumes the role after years of volunteer service for the Academy, most recently as an officer of the board of governors as the vice chair for the 2017-18 term. He previously served as the second vice chair for the board of governors, as well as serving several terms as commercials peer group governor.

Previously, Scherma served on the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Show committee, membership committee, Governors Award selection committee, digital strategy committee and on the Television Academy Foundation’s board of directors, among other positions.

He is concurrently on the board of ThinkLA, a nonprofit collaborative that ties together local media, marketing, entertainment and advertising communities in Los Angeles, and was one of the founding board members of the Entertainment Industry Development Corporation.

Bandicoot given go ahead to hit the road

BBC Scotland has commissioned Argonon-backed prodco Bandicoot to produce Test Drive.

The 8 x 30-minute car-based game show will be fronted by pro wrestler and actor Grado, and follows three teams of two driving to mystery destinations, with their performance on Satnav questions determining the length of their route.

The winning team, made up of friends or family, won’t necessarily reach the destination fastest but must do so using the shortest route.

The series is executive produced by Bandicoot co-founders Derek McLean, managing director, and Daniel Nettleton, creative director, and is due to air in 2019.

Test Drive will definitely put families through their paces as they attempt to win the prize in this fun-filled game show,” said McLean, in a statement. “We believe viewers will really enjoy the fast-paced quiz, and we couldn’t be happier that the BBC has decided to commission the series.”

DOK Leipzig searches for new director as Leena Pasanen exits

2019 will mark the last edition of DOK Leipzig with Leena Pasanen serving as festival director.

Pasanen will not extend her contract and is instead moving on to Biografilm Festival in Bologna, Italy, where she will serve as new festival director starting in 2020.

She bids farewell to the festival after five years at the helm. Her tenure included the introduction of free screenings, the establishment of a quota for female directors and the integration of DOK Neuland as an interactive exhibition within the core festival program.

Pasanen’s contract will end on Dec. 31.

DOK Liepzig is currently looking for her replacement.

Gil Formats sets On The Edge in Finland

TV prodco and distributor Gil Formats has sold local adaptation rights for On the Edge to Rabbit Films in Finland.

The series sees celebrities with no previous experience taking on life-risking challenges involving extreme physical conditions beyond the limits of the human body. Challenges include swimming in icy water beyond the point of hypothermia, crossing the desert facing fatal dehydration and diving 25 meters under water to the point of severe apnea.

The celebs train with experts to prepare for the stunts.

The original format was created by Laurent Ramamonjiariosa and Clémence de la Robertie, and produced by Flair Production.

Other recent local adaptations include on Planete, part of the Canal+ Group, in France earlier this month, and an upcoming Canadian version on TV5 coming this December.

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.