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MipTV gets down to business

04 April 2011

A businesslike MipTV swung into gear today under clear blue skies and bright sunshine.

Arnold Schwarzenegger brought a touch of Hollywood star wattage to the market, arriving to unveil animated series The Governator, his first project since stepping down as Governor of California. See full story here.

Not to be outdone, four young Brits spent much of the day wandering around the Croissette in their swimming trunks to promote Back2Back Productions’ The Hunks, a factual show about 10 ‘lads’ living it up in Newquay, Cornwall. It airs on Sky Living later this month.

Distributors expressed cautious optimism that this MipTV would prove to be a busy market, building on a strong Mipcom and MipTV last year.

FremantleMedia CEO Tony Cohen said that broadcasters around the world had enjoyed a strong 2010 as advertising revenue recovered, meaning that there was “all to play for in 2011.”

Electric Sky chief executive David Pounds said: “Mipcom last year was busy, and MipTV this year has all the hallmarks of being similarly busy.”

Early deals announced today include the following:

- Sky Atlantic has acquired UK rights to upcoming mini-series Pompeii. The series is based on the best selling book by Robert Harris, is penned by Oscar-winning writer Robert Towne (Chinatown, Mission Impossible). The producers are Sony Pictures Television, Tandem Communications, Peace Out Productions, Dolphin Entertainment, Leder Productions in association with Scott Free Television production in partnership with Sky and ProSiebenSat.1 TV Germany. It will air in 2012.
- Spain’s Zinkia Entertainment announced it has taken a 51% stake in kids and family entertainment company Cake. London-based Cake, headed up by Tom van Waveren and Ed Galton, works with production companies from around the world to develop, create, commercially position and manage their IP propositions for the international market. Properties handled by Cake include: Oscar’s Oasis, Poppy Cat, Tom & the Slice of Bread with Strawberry Jam & Honey, Angelo Rules and The Sparticle Mystery. Zinkia has a track record in creating and managing entertainment brands, including global hit Pocoyo.

- Content Television (formerly known as Fireworks International) sold more than 50 hours of children’s drama and comedy programming to Australia’s national broadcaster ABC TV. The deal includes Even Stevens, The Assistants, BAFTA Children’s Award nominated Black Hole High and two CBBC Productions – Young Dracula and Desperados.

- CBeebies controller Kay Benbow commissioned Tree Fu Tom (26 x 22 mins), a multi-platform action adventure animation series from CBeebies In House Productions and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME). Designed to help children’s movement development, it follows the adventures of a boy with magical powers as he takes viewers to an enchanted world in a tree and encourages them to help him cast magic spells with gentle, fun physical movements. Tree Fu Tom was created and is being produced by Daniel Bays. 

- Off The Fence (OTF) announced a raft of sales amounting to over 120 hours of programming to UK and pan-territory broadcasters. The deals were brokered by Bo Stehmeier, director of sales at OTF and included sales of shows such as Art Race (12x30’), Raising Sextuplets (14x60’), Artland (24x60’) and Adoption Diaries (4x30’) to Sky Arts. Elsewhere in the UK, Discovery UK acquired Ice Man (1x60’), Animal Planet UK bought Cheetah Diaries (13x30’) and Eden obtained Home in Danger Zone (1x60’).

- BBC Worldwide unveiled new properties for CBeebies. New titles to be rolled out throughout 2011 and 2012 include Baby Jake, Jollywobbles and Andy’s Wild Adventures. Andy’s Wild Adventures (40 x 15’) will be produced by the BBC’s Natural History Unit, with young viewers invited to join the adventures of CBeebies presenter Andy Day and his knowledgeable and tech-savvy sidekick, Kip. Baby Jake (26 x 11’) is a new show from Darrall Macqueen which mixes live action with 2D photographic animation, to bring to life the magical adventures of the title character, as he giggles and gurgles his way through fantastical lands with his imaginary animal friends. Jollywobbles (13 x 9’) is a new comedy written, produced, directed and starring Justin Fletcher (Something Special, Gigglebiz), Jollywobbles. BBC Worldwide will also manage the international rights of the Scrumptious House show.

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