Fremantle inks factual deal with China’s Legend Media
Global producer-distributor Fremantle has struck a deal for completed factual content with Chinese company Legend Media.
The agreement is Legend’s first and biggest factual package acquisition so far, including more than 100 hours of factual content from Fremantle. Legend Media has acquired digital rights for China and will be placing the factual programs on VOD platforms.
Among the programs selected by Legend Media are the feature doc Arctic Drift: A Year In The Ice (pictured), produced by UFA Show & Factual and Wild Blue Media, as well as Enslaved: The Lost History of The Transatlantic Slave Trade, hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, billed as the most comprehensive unscripted series ever made on the transatlantic slave trade. Other titles include Stonehenge: The Hidden Truth produced by Fremantle-backed label Wild Blue Media, Last of The Giants, Planet Defenders, Expedition Unpacked, Wild Orphan Rescue, Royals: Declassified and The Diana Interview: The Truth Behind The Scandal.
“This is Legend Media’s biggest factual content package deal to date, so for Fremantle to be the first company to collaborate with them in this space is a real privilege and we hope to continue this fruitful partnership to support their ambitions to provide the best content for China’s TV industry,” said Haryaty Rahman, Fremantle’s SVP Distribution Asia, International, who brokered the deal.
Added Patrick Peng, co-founder of Legend Media: “Fremantle has such a diverse range of content, which helps audiences understand what humans can do for the world. We are honored to partner with Fremantle on such a big deal and look forward to sharing their premium content with audiences in China.”
BossaNova unveils slate of new factual series
London-based content creation, funding and distribution company BossaNova has unveiled its second slate of original productions, which includes five new factual series.
Headlining the slate is Mysteries of the Ancient Dead (6 x 60 minutes), produced by Toronto-based Go Button Media in a new partnership with Canadian commissioning broadcaster Super Channel. The series, co-developed with BossaNova, uses the latest science and technology to explore ancient civilizations’ attitudes towards death.
Also new is Hidden Histories of WW2 (8 x 60 minutes) from UK regional producer Bright Button, which has already secured pre-sales from Viasat World and TF1′s Histoire in France. The series takes a deep dive into the Second World War to look at little-known events and players who helped turn the tide in the war.
Based on an idea from UK indie Phoenix Television and featuring early-stage funding from BossaNova, Murder: First on Scene (10 x 60 minutes) was produced for CBS Reality and is now airing on the channel in the UK. The crime series examines crimes through the eyes of those first on scene.
Finally, in a new partnership with fledgling UK factual prodco Content Kings, BossaNova is launching the documentary series Secrets of the Lost Liners, with pre-sales from Sky History in the UK and SBS in Australia. The series looks at magnificent ships lost through war, disaster or human error.
The slate announcement marks BossaNova’s first creative investment since it was acquired last July by Herbert Kloiber’s Night Train Media. That deal provided BossaNova access to an acquisition fund with which to co-create and co-fund projects by matching producers with the most relevant platform or broadcaster.
“BossaNova was founded to ‘curate a slate’ of premium documentary and factual projects that tell important stories to global audiences; projects that are produced collaboratively, some limited run or at volume but to the highest creative standards in both cases,” said BossaNova CEO Paul Heaney in a release. “This slate of BossaNova originals illustrates that distributor as a commissioning platform is in very rude health and can deliver, thanks to the creative and commercial backing of Night Train Media and our own network of relationships.”
Banijay Rights sets up Lego Masters in Slovakia and Czech Republic
Banijay Rights has announced a new adaptation of the hit reality competition format Lego Masters with a co-production deal confirmed in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The first season of the format will be co-produced and broadcast by TV Markíza in Slovakia and TV Nova in the Czech Republic. The Lego Masters format has been a global hit, with versions recently commissioned in South Korea, China, New Zealand and Spain.
“Lego Masters is an exceptional global success story and we’re very excited to see the format premiere on both TV Nova and Markíza. The broadcast and production expertise these channels carry make them the perfect partner for this show,” said Samia Moktar, Banijay Rights’ vice president, CEE & airlines, in a release.
Prime Entertainment Group sells Eichmann trial doc in Australia
Paris-based distributor Prime Entertainment Group has finalized the Australian sale of the history documentary The Adolf Eichmann Trial, to Foxtel Australia.
The 90-minute documentary chronicles the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, which revealed the extent of Nazi atrocities to the world. The film highlights the weight of the testimony given at the trial, international media coverage and the character of Eichmann, as well as his role and his responsibilities.
Said Alexandra Marguerite, head of sales for Prime: “We are delighted to be strengthening our presence in Australia, especially when it means working with these major players of the Australian audiovisual industry.”