Docs

Extra: “Million Dollar Island” to Oz; initial Banijay Mexico & U.S. Hispanic slate

Seven Network picks up Million Dollar Island for Australia Following commissions for the U.S. and the Middle East, the adventure competition Million Dollar Island from global format powerhouse Talpa Concepts and Monday ...
April 26, 2022

Seven Network picks up Million Dollar Island for Australia

Following commissions for the U.S. and the Middle East, the adventure competition Million Dollar Island from global format powerhouse Talpa Concepts and Monday Media has been picked up for yet another local edition, with Seven Network acquiring the show for Australia.

Talpa’s supercharged take on Survivor drops 100 contestants on a remote island for two months, each of them equipped with a bracelet worth $10,000. As players gradually drop out due to the harsh conditions or fiercely competitive challenges, they bequeath their bracelets to their remaining friends or allies, who will try to stick it out to the end until the last player standing claims the full $1 million prize.

The Australian edition of the format will be produced for Seven by Eureka Productions, which has also handled the local versions of global franchises The Amazing Race (for Ten Network) and The Voice (for Nine Network). The initial version of Million Dollar Island launched in the Netherlands on Talpa-owned SBS6 at the beginning of March.

Commenting on the Australian acquisition of the format, Maarten Meijs, CEO of Talpa Entertainment Holding, said that “Million Dollar Island‘s lightning pace into the big territories is a testament to its hybrid capacity to strengthen both linear and streaming platforms in the quickly changing media landscape.”

Banijay Mexico & U.S. Hispanic reveals initial slate

Banijay’s new production label Banijay Mexico & U.S. Hispanic has unveiled its initial slate of original programming, hired its first staff members and is set to open its Mexico City offices and studios space, managing director Marie Leguizamo announced.

The company is launching its first year with a new deal with singer and actress Becky G. to produce an unscripted docuseries following emerging all-female Latin group Angel 22. The as-yet-untitled series will be coproduced with 2WS Films, with Becky G. serving as an executive producer and also appearing in the show.

Additionally, the studio is set to produce the next season of LOL: Last One Laughing in Mexico for Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service. The company is also developing a Latin American production hub for LOL based in Mexico City and overseen by Leguizamo, who has served as executive producer and showrunner for the last three seasons of LOL Mexico.

Leguizamo has also hired the first members of her team, including veteran unscripted producer Andrea Hülsz, who has been named executive director, physical production. Miguel Sanchez, meanwhile, will serve as director of development, and Fernanda Ruiz has been tapped to be the studio’s manager of development.

BBC presenter Hannah Fry chronicles her cancer struggle in new doc from Curious Films

Hannah Fry, the British mathematician and frequent presenter for BBC radio and television, will be the subject of a new standalone doc commissioned by BBC Two that chronicles her recent battle with cancer.

Produced by Curious Films, the 60-minute documentary Making Sense of Cancer with Hannah Fry follows Fry as she undergoes a highly invasive surgical procedure that she is told is crucial to treat her stage three cervical cancer. Although the surgery is declared a success, Fry later discovers that her cancer had never spread as far as doctors had suspected.

Wrestling with both the aftereffects of this life-altering procedure and the implications of her original diagnosis, Fry applies her insight as a mathematician to delve into the data and statistics behind cancer and interrogate the assumptions we make and the risks we take in our treatment of it.

Making Sense of Cancer with Hannah Fry is directed by Harriet Bird, with Curious Films’ Dov Freedman and Charlie Russell serving as executive producers. It was commissioned for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer by Jack Bootle, head of commissioning for science and natural history.

The doc is the latest BBC commission for London-headquartered Curious Films, whose previous titles for the pubcaster include the Amy Winehouse doc Reclaiming Amy for BBC Two, the women’s football docuseries Squad Goals for BBC Three, and The People vs Climate Change for BBC iPlayer.

(With files from Justin Anderson)
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