Television Business International

BBC Four acquires German drama Reformation

Scripted-logo-460_2ReformationUK channel BBC Four has acquired German-language drama Reformation: The Story of Martin Luther, and is planning a natural history-themed slow TV show.

Reformation: The Story of Martin Luther is a 2x120mins series that about the life of the titular religious figure, whose thesis changed the Catholic Church forever.

FremantleMedia-owned UFA Fiction produced the show for German pubcaster ZDF, with FremantleMedia International doing the deal with the BBC.

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. BBC Four will play the show this autumn, and is also planning a show from Matchlight Productions about Choral Evensong. BBC Studios also working up Books of the Reformation with Janina Ramirez.

BBC Four has positioned itself as the UK’s leading broadcaster of foreign-language scripted, though Channel 4-backed VOD service Walter Presents is dedicated to the genre.

BBC Four’s commissioning editor, Cassian Harrison, has also ordered Slow Natural History, a 3x30mins BBC Studios Natural History Unit series in which viewers follow the movements and perspective of animals equipped with wearable technology.

Another slow TV effort is The Monastery, which comes from Tigerlily Productions and is a collaboration between BBC Documentaries and BBC Religion.

Elsewhere in his controller session at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Harrison revealed a single drama following the life of Morecambe and Wise comedy scriptwriter Eddie Braben.

All3Media-owned Objective Fiction is producing.