Extra: Banijay Rights shores up exec team; “LEGO Masters” finds a home in Sweden

Banijay Rights shores up exec team Banijay Rights, the distribution arm of Banijay Group, is bolstering its leadership team following the appointment of former Endemol Shine International chief Cathy Payne to CEO. Roisin Thomas will remain ...
April 27, 2020

Banijay Rights shores up exec team

Banijay Rights, the distribution arm of Banijay Group, is bolstering its leadership team following the appointment of former Endemol Shine International chief Cathy Payne to CEO.

Roisin Thomas will remain as COO and John Richards will take up the post of CFO. Both executives will report to Payne and the newly devised team will oversee all operational and financial matters for the division.

Thomas has served as COO of Banijay Rights since 2015. She previously served as chief of staff to two successive group CEOs at Zodiak Media prior to the company’s merger with Banijay Group.

The executive will support Payne in developing and implementing Banijay Rights’ overarching business strategy.

Richards, meanwhile, joins Banijay Rights from Endemol Shine International, where he has served as chief financial officer since 2015. Prior to that, he was the finance director of Endemol Worldwide Distribution.

LEGO Masters finds a home in Sweden  

Endemol Shine Group has sold the entertainment format LEGO Masters (pictured), which sees competitive LEGO building teams, to Meter Television for TV4.

Swedish YouTuber Mauri Hermundsson will host the eight-part series and will be joined by LEGO design director Magnus Göransson to judge the contestant’s creations.

The Swedish version will launch this fall on TV4, TV4 Play and C More.

The series debuted on FOX in February, and was originally created by Tuesday’s Child Productions and The LEGO Group.

This marks the seventh broadcaster to pick up the format, following deals in the U.S., UK, Australia, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

All3Media Int’l secures deals with CEE broadcasters

Indie distributor All3Media International has inked a number of factual entertainment content deals with broadcasters in the Central and Eastern Europe.

In Russia, First HDTV has acquired a package of nearly 70 hours of content, including three titles presented by expert horticulturalist Monty Don. Heading to First HDTV are season eight of BBC Studios’ Gardeners’ World (25 x 60 minutes); season three of Lion Television’s Big Dreams, Small Spaces (6 x 60 minutes); and the two-part special Monty Don’s Japanese Gardens from Blink Films. The Russian broadcaster has also secured seasons seven and eight of Spun Gold’s Love Your Garden (17 x 60 minutes in total).

First HDTV will also transmit a number of Lion TV’s documentary specials, including Bomber Boys, Battle of Britain and Secrets of the Chinese Chariots. The one-off specials will feature alongside North One Television’s Guy Martin’s WW1 Tank, Studio Lambert’s Rat Bastards and Swan Films’ Me, My Selfie and I: With Ryan Gander.

Also heading to Russia are four health and wellbeing specials, including Lion TV’s The Truth About Sleep and The Truth About Carbs; Tin Roof Media’s The Truth About Stress; and Maverick Television’s The Sticky Truth About Sugar and challenge series Escape (5 x 60 minutes).

Polish broadcaster ITI Neovision, meanwhile, has acquired a number of home and garden-themed series for its factual channels. Sixty-six hours of content is heading to its Domo+ channel, including season eight of Gardeners’ WorldMonty Don’s Japanese Gardens and season eight of Love Your Garden, as well as the Monty Don’s American Gardens (Alexandra Henderson Associates; 3 x 60 minutes).

Kuchnia+ took North One’s travelogue Eddie Eats America (12 x 30 minutes), while Canal+ has picked up Optomen Television’s Snackmasters (3 x 60 minutes) and two Raw TV specials in Drowning in Plastic and Meat: A Threat to Our Planet?

Additionally, ITI Neovision has renewed Big Dreams, Small Spaces and acquired all three seasons of Amazing Productions’ Ugly House to Lovely House with George Clarke.

Finally, for their channels BBC Brit, BBC Earth and BBC Lifestyle, BBC Studios in Poland has lined up a range of adventure titles, including seasons one and two of Studio Lambert’s competition series Race Across the World (15 x 60 minutes). The deal also comprises pre-sales of season three.

Also headed to Poland are North One’s Ski A&E (10 x 60 minutes), Our Guy in Japan (2 x 60 minutes) and Guy Martin’s Great Escape (120 minutes) and the Swan Films special The Last Igloo. The broadcaster has also renewed health and wellbeing specials The Truth About… and the Gordon Ramsay-led Kitchen Nightmares.

Discovery, Amazon’s Food Network Kitchen to launch “We Cook Together Weekend” 

The We Cook Together Weekends includes 10 live cooking classes from chefs ranging from Valerie Bertinelli to Bobby Flay, to air on May 2 and 3 on Food Network Kitchen.

The live classes allow at-home cooks to whip up a meal alongside their favorite chefs in real-time from their home kitchens, and is part of an expanded collaboration between Discovery, Inc. and Amazon to provide new and existing Amazon Fire TV and Fire Tablet American customers with a one-year subscription to Discovery’s Food Network Kitchen, compliments of Amazon.

All 10 cooking classes will stream from the personal kitchens of Valerie Bertinelli, Scott Conant, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, Amanda Freitag, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, Michael Symon and Jet Tila.

Viewers will be able to ask questions throughout with live Q&A.

Sunwise Media to launch Hope Village in May 

Ri-Karlo Handy’s feature-length documentary Hope Village will launch on May 12 via Sunwise Media.

The film charts the life and career of Lucy Hall, founder of Mary Hall Freedom House, as she combats generational addiction through the creation of one of America’s most successful women’s addiction treatment facilities in Georgia.

Presented by Sunwise Media in association with Mary Hall Freedom House, Hope Village will be digitally available via platforms including Amazon, Films Media Group/Infobase and Hoopla. Educational and non-theatrical screening licenses are available through Soundview Media Partners.

In addition, Sunwise Media will host a free live stream premiere party and online workshops for National Substance Abuse Prevention Week on May 12. An invite code and link can be found here.

With files from Daniele Alcinii, Jillian Morgan and Kelly Anderson

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