Extra: TruTV takes “Semi Pro”; Two Rivers to adapt “Chums” best-seller as docuseries

TruTV greenlights Semi Pro from Jersey Shore prodco 495 Productions Warner Bros. Discovery net truTV has greenlit Semi Pro (pictured), a 10 x 30-minute reality sitcom from Jersey Shore creator SallyAnn ...
May 18, 2022

TruTV greenlights Semi Pro from Jersey Shore prodco 495 Productions

Warner Bros. Discovery net truTV has greenlit Semi Pro (pictured), a 10 x 30-minute reality sitcom from Jersey Shore creator SallyAnn Salsano‘s 495 Productions.

The series follows six semi-professional football teams from the New York–New Jersey area whose players grind it out on the field while trying to balance their passion for the game with their grown-up lives and responsibilities. The featured teams include the returning champions, the Brooklyn Seminoles; their top rivals, the New Jersey Sharks; and two squads of brash young up-and-comers, the New Jersey Stags and the New York Patriots.

Semi Pro is executive produced by Salsano and Dave Hamilton for 495 Productions. Showrunner Mike Gross is also credited as an EP.

Two Rivers Media to adapt bestseller on Boris Johnson’s Oxford circle for docuseries

UK indie Two Rivers Media has acquired the film and TV rights to Simon Kuper’s recently released book Chums: How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK, with the intentionĀ of creating a major docuseries out of the non-fiction bestseller.

The book investigates how the privileged culture of Oxford University, and the elite social connections it fosters, have helped shape today’s Britain by producing some of the most powerful and influential Conservative politicians of the modern era, including Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Dominic Cummings, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Theresa May and Michael Gove.

“We have all heard tales of the infamous Bullingdon Club and witnessed the influence of Cameron, Johnson, May, Gove, Mogg et al in the tumultuous decade for British society, which they have largely overseen,” said Two Rivers managing director Alan Clements. “What makes Chums such an interesting book is its all-encompassing look at this era of Oxford University students and their alma mater, written by someone who was actually thereā€¦ We are very excited to be prepping it as a major unscripted box set.”

Two Rivers Media purchased the rights to Chums from Gordon Wise at publisher Curtis Brown Ltd.

CBC’s Mia Desroches tapped by KOTV for senior distribution role

Quebec-based prodco KOTV, creator of internationally licensed unscripted formats The Verdict and The Playlist, has brought on CBC & Radio-Canada Distribution exec Mia Desroches as vice president of international distribution.

A multi-genre distribution specialist, Desroches began her career at Montreal’s Remstar Media before joining the National Film Board of Canada, where she held several senior positions (including director of distribution) over the course of 12 years. She subsequently spent two years at prodco Telefiction as VP of distribution before joining the CBC in 2018, where she served as director of content distribution partnerships and business development.

KOTV collaborator AromaTV, the Berlin-based independent distributor run by Montreal native Barbara Vallant, will continue its partnership with the prodco, working closely with Desroches.

“For the past several years, KOTV has brought some very successful projects to international markets. We produce in French and English, develop coproduction projects with international partners, and work with some of the world’s most important distributors,” said Louis-Philippe Drolet, EVP and director general of KOTV, in a release announcing the hire. “Mia’s appointment aligns perfectly with our continued ambitions outside of Quebec, and she possesses the experience and expertise to take on the direction of our distribution team and contribute to our global reach.”

Jackson Wild launches cinematography mentorship initiative with ASC, Red Digital Cinema

Non-profit Jackson Wild has partnered with the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and digital camera manufacturer Red Digital Cinema for a new initiative to support emerging cinematographers in the area of wildlife filmmaking.

Under the terms of the partnership, ASC members from historically excluded groups will be offered mentorship opportunities through Jackson Wild and Red, while the ASC will oversee the award for best cinematography at the annual Jackson Wild Media Awards, which celebrates excellence in nature filmmaking.

“There has never been a more urgent time for us to use the power of beautiful, well-told stories to inspire decisive action as our planet confronts biodiversity collapse and the climate change crisis,” said Jackson Wild executive director Lisa Samford. “We are fully committed to elevating historically excluded storytellers and delighted that the ASC and Red share these goals.”

This year’s Jackson Wild Media Awards will be held at the conclusion of the Jackson Wild Summit, which runs from September 26 to 30 in Burgenland, Austria, the organization’s first-ever summit to be held outside the U.S. Finalists for the cinematography category will be announced in August.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.