David Weiland, Worldwide’s executive VP, Western Europe, told TBI about the deals from the ongoing BBC Showcase event in Liverpool. The fact-ent format, which was created by Bake Off producer Love Productions, has also been optioned Italy, Holland and Spain.
The fact-ent competitive sewing format has proved popular for the BBC Two in the UK and Worldwide has sought to capitalise upon the success of Love’s Great British Bake Off, which also introduces a competitive element to what was considered a sedate pastime and has been sold into nine territories in Western Europe and thirteen in all internationally.
In France M6 has already taken a local version of Bake Off and the broadcaster has now ordered a French Sewing Bee. The free-to-air commercial channel’s version will be called Cousu Main and fronted by stylist and model Cristina Codula. BBC Worldwide’s French production division will make the show.
Norwegian pubcaster NRK has also ordered a local version of Sewing Bee as has Swedish commercial broadcaster TV4. Both have already acquired the first two seasons of the finished British version.
In Italy, Zodiak-owned Magnolia has optioned the show while FremantleMedia’s Blue Circle has taken rights in Holland. In Spain, Shine Iberia has optioned the format.
“We knew that the Sewing Bee format had universal appeal and therefore potential to become an international success,” Weiland said, noting more international deals for the show are in the offing.
BBC Worldwide announced another French format deal at Showcase with France Télévisions ordering a local version of the Antiques Roadshow format. The French show, which does not yet have a name, will go out on the pubcaster’s France 2 channel.