Mipcom: NBCUniversal and Snap Inc. have joined forces to create a new digital content studio. Based in California, the joint venture will make made-for-mobile programming to primarily debut on Snapchat. Lauren Anderson, a former Senior Vice President of Primetime Programming at NBC, has been named Chief Content Officer for the digital content studio. NBCUniversal and Snap also announced that the joint venture’s first deal will be with the Duplass Brothers’ creative shop, Donut. Between them, they have created numerous film and TV series, including recent HBO series, Togetherness and Room 104.

BBC4 has acquired Danish thriller Below The Surface from StudioCanal. The crime thrlller, produced by Sam Productions, will be broadcast by BBC4 next year. The show has been acquired by more than 70 territories to date. Set in present day Copenhagen, Below The Surface opens with a national crisis – the hijacking of a subway train, where 15 members of the public are held hostage. Setting in motion a chain of events that unfold across eight days, the whole of Denmark is in thrall to the hijackers’ next moves and the fate of the 15 people they hold captive.

Talpa format The Voice is launching a brand-new spin-off, The Voice Senior. Following on from The Voice Kids, the new show will be aimed at 65 year olds and older.  The setup of this singing competition is very similar to the original version. Starting with two blind auditions, the selected talents proceed to the knockouts, followed by the finale where the winner of the Voice Senior will be crowned. The show will debut in 2018 in the Netherlands on RTL4.

SVoD service BritBox has acquired a raft of content from FremantleMedia International. Shows that will run on the US service that showcases British TV include QI, Escape to the Country, Merlin and Against the Law. BritBox was launched in the US earlier this year by BBC Worldwide, the BBC and ITV.

All3Media International has concluded new deals for thriller Liar from Two Brothers Pictures. It has been secured by Germany’s SquareOne Entertainment, in a deal including rights for the German speaking market, as well as by SVT in Sweden. Further broadcasters picking up the drama include 365 Media (Iceland), DBS Satellite (Israel) and TV3 (Ireland), alongside a pan regional deal with BBC Global covering Africa, Benelux and Middle East.
BBC Worldwide has concluded a content sales agreement with African SVOD service Showmax. The mixed-genre package which has in excess of 150 hours of natural history, drama and factual entertainment programming, will be available to Showmax subscribers in 36 African countries. The deal includes shows such as Planet Earth II, The Durrell’s and Call the Midwife. 

Talpa has unveiled a new reality format, Lost in Translation, created and produced by John de Mol, creator of Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, and The Voice. Twelve contestants from across the globe are dropped off in remote location with one common goal: to build a seaworthy boat capable of leaving the island to reach the mainland, find the treasure and win a huge cash prize. In just 30 days. But there is one twist. For each contestant there is only one language partner on the island. The other contestants do not speak each other’s language. They don’t understand a single word the other one is saying.

Smithsonian Channel has renewed America in Colour, recommissioning UK based Arrow Media to produce six new hour-long episodes to air in 2018.

TCB Media Rights, the London-based rights-ownership and distribution company, has announced pre sales for two of its royal themed MipCom launches.  SBS Australia has invested in Elizabeth, produced by ITN Productions for Channel 5 in the UK, and The Private Lives of the Monarchs from Like A Shot Productions.

Actress Liv Tyler (The Leftovers, TheLord of the Rings) has joined the cast of Hulu and Monumental Television’s drama Harlots. Tyler will play enigmatic aristocrat, Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam.

UK indie Whizz Kid Entertainment has struck a deal via its US agent partner WME to option the format rights to Pimp My Ride from the US-based originators of the format Breakfast Anytime Inc. WME brokered the deal in conjunction with Breakfast Anytime format consultant Alex Fraser.The original series of Pimp My Ride launched in 2004 on MTV USA.

Kew Media Group is to acquire a stake in Jeff Norton’s London (UK) based Awesome Media & Entertainment.  Originally founded around the rights of author Jeff Norton’s novels, Awesome has since moved into developing original material for television and optioning 3rd party IP. Last year, Awesome announced it would be expanding its slate of kids and family projects with a move into primetime drama. Current original projects with soon to be announced producer and buyer participations include Woodland, about the search for the missing grandson of a Tolkien-like literary icon; Cortex, a high-tech police procedural about human memory hacking, and Expat, a contemporary drama in development with Monumental Television.

Sky Vision has become the first distribution business to ‘go live’ with its entire catalogue on TRX, the online deal making tool for TV rights licensing. TRX enables TV programme buyers to search for content, get instant rights availabilities and make offers for program rights all online. As such, its aim is to make deals easier, quicker and more efficient for both sales teams and buyers.

All3Media International has concluded new deals across Europe and Asia for crime thriller Rellik. Produced by New Pictures and Two Brothers Pictures for BBC One, UK and Cinemax, USA, Rellik has been signed in a pan territory deal with HBO Asia, following its acquisition by HBO Europe earlier this year, as well as by Tele München for Germany and German-speaking territories. Further deals include DBS Satellite (Israel) and VRT (Flemish Belgium), as well as a DVD/Video rights deal with Dazzler Media for UK & Eire.

Staff Reporter

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