Extra: Italian format “Back to School” to MIPTV; PBS’ “Nature’s Big Year” sales

Mediaset to bring new kids and celebs game show Back to School to MIPTV Italian media giant Mediaset Group will launch a new game-show format, Back to School, at this year’s ...
March 28, 2022

Mediaset to bring new kids and celebs game show Back to School to MIPTV

Italian media giant Mediaset Group will launch a new game-show format, Back to School, at this year’s MIPTV, which takes place in Cannes from April 3 to 6.

Produced for Mediaset subsidiary RTI by independent prodco Blu Yazmine, the five-episode format brings together 25 celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, media and sports, and places them in a classroom setting where they are tutored by a team of top primary school students, aged eight to ten, in preparation for taking the Grade 5 exam.

The domestic launch of the show on Italia 1 in January was a considerable success, drawing 2 million viewers. The format has already been approved for a second season.

“After two years of lockdown, I am very excited to pitch this incredible format to my clients, as I really believe in the good results of a show that is fun and entertaining with kids and celebrities having a great time together,” said Claudia Marra, international sales manager for Mediaset’s sales arm Mediaset Distribution.

GRB Studios confirms multiple international sales for Untold Stories of the ER, On the Case with Paula Zahn, more

California-based production company and distributor GRB Studios has confirmed a number of international sales for both scripted and unscripted content, and has indicated that it will look to pick up a range of programming during this year’s MIPTV.

Among the company’s unscripted sales are Auction Kings, which has been picked up for Romania by AETN UK; seasons seven and eight of the venerable ID true-crime series On the Case with Paula Zahn, which heads to France courtesy of M6; and the mining docuseries Turquoise Fever (1 season, 7 x 60 min.) and hour-long doc Served: Harvey Weinstein, both of which were acquired by Foxtel Australia.

Finally, Paramount Global’s AVOD service Pluto TV has secured all 15 available seasons of Untold Stories of the ER for the US market in both English and Spanish, as well as several seasons in Portuguese for Brazil.

“GRB is thrilled to be going into MIPTV strong with a slate of distribution deals behind us, and we are actively looking to acquire some great new programming from around the world in all genres, scripted and unscripted,” said Hud Woodle, EVP of international sales and operations for GRB Studios, in a news release. “We are also looking forward to meeting in person in Cannes with our current and new partners.”

PBS scores international sales for Nature’s Big Year doc

PBS International has sold local broadcast rights for Nature’s Big Year (1 x 44 min.), an independently produced, UHD-shot standalone nature doc, for multiple territories, including Japan (NHK), Slovenia (RTV) and Taiwan (PTS). More sales are expected to be forthcoming.

Written, directed and produced by Canadian filmmaker Christine Nielsen, the doc (pictured) explores how the worldwide slowdown of human activity occasioned by the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for a resurgence of the natural world, including widespread smog reduction and healthy changes in animal behaviors.

“Following the success of Nature’s Fear Factor, PBS International is looking to expand its UHD content, especially in the natural history genre,” commented PBS International commissioning editor Tracy Beckett. “Nature’s Big Year is innovative and compelling and exactly the kind of film that we look to represent.”

Other PBS offerings in UHD include the Ken Burns docuseries Muhammad Ali and Hemingway, as well as the forthcoming Dante, which explores the life and legacy of the 13th-century Italian poet and the creation of his masterwork The Divine Comedy.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.