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Extra: DCD Rights pre-sales; Passion acquires two new crime series

DCD Rights sales ahead of MIPCOM UK-based distributor DCD Rights has pre-sold a pair of new factual series to a range of broadcasters in the run-up to MIPCOM. The new history/travel series ...
October 7, 2021

DCD Rights sales ahead of MIPCOM

UK-based distributor DCD Rights has pre-sold a pair of new factual series to a range of broadcasters in the run-up to MIPCOM.

The new history/travel series Treasures with Bettany Hughes (6 x 60 minutes) was produced during lockdown and is billed as “armchair travel at its most vivid and memorable.” The series follows Hughes, an author and historian, as she visits locales from Gibraltar to Istanbul via Italy, Greece and Malta exploring treasures of civilization to investigate the story of humanity.

Treasures with Bettany Hughes was produced by Sandstone Global Productions in association with BBC World News. It’s been picked up by SBS Australia, VRT Belgium, Geo Television for German-speaking Europe, Viasat World for Central & Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and CIS, and the Knowledge Network in Canada.

Meanwhile the travelogue series Scottish Islands with Ben Fogle (4 x 60 minutes, pictured), produced by Tern TV Productions for BBC1 and BBC Scotland, finds adventurer Ben Fogle on a personal pilgrimage across Scotland’s islands as he seeks to rediscover his own sense of spirituality. Along the way he meets locals who teach about the ancient landscapes. The series has been sold to SBS Australia.

Other new factual programming launching at MIPCOM through DCD Rights includes Secrets of the London Underground (6 x 60 minutes), produced by Bob Brown Productions for Yesterday, featuring railway historian Tim Dunn and the London Transport Museum’s Siddy Holloway as they explore the hidden and unused parts of London’s underground network.

“We have found that our travel and history programming has been particularly sought after by international broadcasters during this difficult time for international travel. And we expect there will be even longer bucket lists of desired locations to visit after these inspirational series air,” said Nicky Davies Williams, CEO of DCD Rights, in a release.

Pernel Media producing documentary on Mayan expedition

Paris-based prodco Pernel Media has secured exclusive access to an expedition into the oldest and largest Mayan site that has been found to date.

The excavation of key locations in the Mayan complex of Aguada Fenix will be the subject of a still-untitled 90-minute feature documentary from director Florence Tran (Mysterious Discoveries in the Great Pyramid, Searching for Planet 9, Scanning the Pyramids) who will follow the team’s progress in Tabasco, Mexico. The expedition, led by Mayan experts Takeshi Inomata and Daniela Triadan along with a team featuring local experts and Mayas, use ground-penetrating LIDAR technology to uncover lost secrets that could rewrite the history of the first Mayas.

“This expedition is a major game changer in our knowledge of the Mayan culture and history. It’s about discovering the secrets of the origins of the Mayas. Such history defining expeditions don’t occur very often and we are very proud to have secured exclusive access to this story. This was made possible thanks to the expertise our team has developed on archeological missions around the globe over the years,” said Samuel Kissous, president of Pernel Media, in a release.

Passion Distribution picks up true crime titles

London-based indie Passion Distribution has acquired the international distribution rights to the true crime series Released to Kill and Killer at the Crime Scene.

Released to Kill (10 x 60 minutes) was produced by Emporium Productions for CBS Reality and is hosted by renowned journalist and criminologist Donal MacIntyre. The series looks at the criminal investigations behind murders committed by previously convicted criminals. Each episode follows one murder, examining the backgrounds and potential motives of the killers both before and after prison. The series uses archive news footage, dramatic reconstructions and interviews with those who were involved in the actual events.

Killer at the Crime Scene, produced by Spun Gold for Channel 5, explores the first moments after a murder victim’s body is discovered, when police are racing against time to lock down the crime scene — the so-called “golden hour” when vital clues are often found. The show examines what it takes to establish a crime scene and quickly uncover forensic evidence that will bring a murderer to justice.

“We are very excited to be collaborating with Emporium Productions and CBS Reality on this series. True crime as a genre has evolved in recent years and Released to Kill offers audiences compelling and necessary stories. Likewise, Killer at the Crime Scene from Spun Gold is an innovative series that expands the genre,” Sean Wheatley, head of acquisitions at Passion Distribution, said in a release.

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