Drive to distribute Peninsula Television’s Downton Abbey special
Irish prodco Peninsula Television has tapped London-based production-funding and distribution agency Drive to distribute its feature-length documentary about the acclaimed British drama series Downton Abbey.
Return to Downton Abbey is the international version of Peninsula Television’s U.S. special, which was commissioned by American network NBC and NBCUniversal subsidiary, producer-distributor Focus Features.
Under the agreement, Drive will distribute the film in all territories outside the U.S. and will launch the project to international buyers at MIPCOM in Cannes next month.
The film follows Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter (pictured) on his nostalgic trip to the series primary filming location, Highclere Castle in England. He introduces viewers to behind the scenes sequences and revisits some of the castle’s historical features.
Discovery Program Sales to distribute rights for Mysterious Planet
Discovery Program Sales, Discovery’s program licensing arm, will distribute worldwide rights for the five-part television series Mysterious Planet.
The blue chip series, from director and producer Andrew Murray, takes viewers on a new adventure in each 60-minute episode to locations such as the Indonesian forests, the Andean deserts, the Caribbean and the highlands of Ethiopia.
Co-produced by New Zealand-base NHNZ and Japan-based NHK, the series seeks to reveal how and why wildlife unique to those locations exist.
Shin Murata is executive producer for NHK and Kyle Murdoch is executive producer for NHNZ.
Avalon’s Taskmaster heads to Norway, Finland
Comedy game show Taskmaster from UK indie Avalon and comedian Alex Horne is expanding its reach into Scandinavia.
MTV Finland ordered 10 x 60-minute episodes of local version Suurmestari from Finnish producer-distributor Rabbit Films.
Discovery Norway commissioned 10 x 60-minute episodes of Kongen befaler, produced by Banijay Group-owned prodco Nordisk Film TV and Concorde TV.
Denmark is continuing production on the third season of its Metronome-produced local series, Stormester, on broadcaster TV2. Swedish prodco Baluba is producing the fourth series of local edition Bäst i Test! for pubcaster SVT1.
Executive producers for the series — which first aired in the UK — are Horne, Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett, James Taylor, Jonny Thoday, and Andy Devonshire, who also acts as series director, and Hilary Rosen for UKTV.
Andy Cartwright is series producer.
Silverlining preps S2 of C5′s Great Model Railway Challenge
England-based distributor Silverlining is slated to debut the second season of Great Model Railway Challenge from UK indie Knickerbockerglory.
Season two will comprise eight, 75-minute episodes, extending the duration and run of the first six-episode series.
Great Model Railway Challenge follows 15 teams of railway modelers as they build a miniature wonderland in hopes of winning the CMRC crown. James Richardson and Tim Shaw will return as presenters.
The series, executive produced by Pat Doyle, airs tonight (Sept. 13) at on British network Channel 5.