Factual indie Rare TV is hiring Zig Zag’s Chris Sanders as development producer, as the indie launches its “Digging For” format on the international stage.

Sanders will focus on international projects and will report to vice-president of US development Christian Broadhurst. He joins Rare TV from UK independent Zig Zag Productions, where he served as assistant producer and senior development executive.

Rare is working on an international reversion of Digging For Britain, fronted in the UK by historian and presenter Alice Roberts. The  ‘Digging For…’ strand is currently in development with an as yet unnamed international broadcaster.

This is the first international reversion coming out of  Rare TV’s strategy to develop existing formattable IP for global sales, creating international formats from a selection of its returning brands.

The eighth series of Digging For Britain was one of the highest rating series on BBC4 with the producer continually popularising the discovery of fragments of pottery and old bones from archaeological digs around the country. The show is about to TX for the ninth (6 x 60) season for BBC2, commissioned by the BBC’s editors Simon Young and Patrick Holland.

Rare TV CEO Alexander Gardiner says: “Our new developed format Digging For….will allow us to bring over a decade of expertise and resource to platforms and broadcasters in other territories that can then uncover their own national historical treasures.”

Chris Sanders adds: “It’s the most incredibly exciting time to be in development for US and international streamers and broadcasters at a time of such change. Rule books are being ripped up with fewer and better as the focus, with bigger risks and even bigger prizes. In that context, you need a supportive team that’s not afraid to challenge and equally unfazed about mistakes, that’s the culture at Rare and it’s a pleasure to be part of that team.”

Sanders was one of the inaugural winners of The David Lyle Foundation annual scholarship programme, which helps promising young executives to build successful careers in the international television business.

Rare TV has recently been awarded a commission for a new 15-part BBC Daytime series, Expert Witness, set to TX this autumn, airing on BBC One mornings. The series, produced from Belfast, will explore the inside stories of how expert witnesses helped solve some of the UK’s most complex major crime cases, using forensic science to reveal the hidden clues criminals leave behind.

This followed the news earlier this year of the UK’s 5STAR ordering Body of Evidence (w/t), a returnable series that examines British murder investigations that ran cold, only to be cracked years later by dedicated detectives determined to catch the killer.




Jon Creamer

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