Discovery+ slates home reno series We Bought a Funeral Home for Halloween
Discovery+ has commissioned a macabre take on the home reno format, We Bought a Funeral Home, which is appropriately slated to debut in October.
The 6 x 60 min. series (pictured) accompanies Heather and Arryn Blumberg and their two children as they chuck big-city life for the small-town charms of Dresden, Ontario, where they set about renovating and redecorating a vintage 19th-century, 12,000-square-foot Victorian funeral home to transform it into the home of their dreams.
The series is being produced for Discovery+ and HGTV by Toronto-based HeartHat Entertainment.
Religion of Sports, Reserve Entertainment, Chris Pratt’s Indivisible partner on Helen | Believe
Religion of Sports has announced that it is partnering with Reserve Entertainment and Chris Pratt’s prodco Indivisible Productions on the documentary Helen | Believe.
The film follows women’s wrestling Olympic champion Helen Maroulis, who competed in her first Olympic Games at 23 years old in Rio against 13-time world champion Saori Yoshida. Maroulis pulled off a shocking upset, handing Yoshida her first loss in four years and becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling.
Maroulis’ success after the Olympics was halted in 2018 when she suffered a concussion mid-match, which later led to a traumatic brain injury and ensuing bouts of anxiety disorder, depression, severe PTSD and chronic pain, culminating in her early retirement. The doc follows Maroulis’ comeback as she trained to return and defend her title at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“I met Helen years ago when times were tough, to say the least,” said the film’s director, Dylan Mulick. “Having the opportunity to document her journey up close, camera in hand, has been life-changing. Helen will shift the perception of what most believe a combat athlete to be, and thanks to this incredible team we were able to bring her story to the world with the care it deserves.”
Helen | Believe is produced by Religion of Sports, Indivisible Productions, Tracy Aftergood, Darren Moorman and Sean Devereaux.
Celeb chefs John Torode, Tom Kerridge to anchor new series for Food Network/Discovery+ UK
The Food Network and Discovery+ have unveiled two new cooking shows for their upcoming seasonal slates in the UK, as well as confirming new seasons of returning series Gok Wan’s Easy Asian (8 x 30 min.) and Michel Roux’s French Country Cooking (8 x 60 min.).
The first new offering is John Torode’s Ireland, which follows the Australian celebrity chef and MasterChef presenter as he traverses the Emerald Isle to sample local specialties prepared by both home cooks and Michelin-starred chefs. The 6 x 60-minute series is produced for the Food Network and Discovery+ by Cornelia Street Productions, and will debut this summer.
The other new commission is Tom Kerridge’s Sunday Lunch (8 x 30 min.), which is scheduled to debut in the fall. Produced by Bone Soup Productions and hosted by Kerridge, the Michelin-starred chef and presenter of the BBC Two series Food and Drink, the series will offer step-by-step guides for preparing a hearty weekend midday meal, complete with sides, sauces and dessert. The series will be capped by an hour-long Christmas special to showcase a selection of special recipes for the festive season.
Both series were ordered by Clare Laycock, SVP planning & insights and head of entertainment for Discovery UK. They were commissioned by Discovery UK head of commissioning Charlotte Reid, and executive produced by Matt Reid.
Mike Davis appointed first-ever CGI executive producer for BBC’s Natural History Unit
BAFTA-winning visual effects specialist Mike Davis has been tapped by the BBC Studios Natural History Unit to take on the newly created role of CGI executive producer, the first in a number of executive producer positions that will be announced in the coming months as the NHU expands its editorial team.
An executive producer with the BBC Studios Science Unit for the last two years, Davis is a longtime natural history and science specialist. As creative director at Atlantic Productions before joining the BBC, he produced David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive for Sky and served as a series director on BBC One’s Galapagos and Great Barrier Reef. He also spearheaded Atlantic’s giant-screen productions and VR storytelling for such venues as London’s Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.
“The use of CGI has always been my true passion and frequently at the heart of the projects I’ve been involved in,” said Davis. “I can’t wait to start working on developing different formats, forming new partnerships and discovering new technologies.”
Davis will begin his new role as CGI executive producer at the end of summer 2022.
With files from Andrew Jeffrey