TBI Weekly: BBC Worldwide Showcase and the UK Screenings

The BBC Worldwide Showcase is, by some distance, the largest international programming market held by a single distributor away from the Hollywood studios and their LA Screenings in May.

Just as any decent festival spawns fringe events, the 700-plus buyers expected at the ACC conference centre in Liverpool between February 18-21 means clever indie distributors have scheduled their own events around the big event. Success breeds success, as the old adage goes.

This is the second year in a row TBI has covered the various screenings and programming showcases taking place around the country this month, and there’s no doubt the period is becoming an increasingly important time for all involved.

Of course, the BBC and its giant content event, the BBC Worldwide Showcase, rules the roost in February. Ahead of the event, it has closed new deals for crime drama McMafia and announced the creation of an Australian production wing, which will be part of the merged BBC production and distribution wings set to begin operating on April 1.

The Showcase brings together the biggest stars the Corporation has to offer with the highest profile buyers on the planet. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google and now Snapchat – the ‘FAANGS’ – will all be in town.

It usually takes a home game for Everton or Liverpool to get so many people in one place on Merseyside these days, so credit to BBC Worldwide for the scale of its ambition.

The other distributors – all thankful for the passing trade Showcase brings to the UK – are carefully to schedule their events around and not during the main show, and we’ve rounded up the new shows debuting before MIPTV comes around less than two months.

While original programming has been the order of the day for some time now, it’s clear the good old fashioned acquisition deal is still in rude health.

We’ll be heading north this weekend ahead of the event, so look out for more coverage in coming days.

Also in the news…

Viacom International Media Networks has made deals across Europe, Asia and Latin America for Nella the Princess Knight

ABC in Australia has acquired four hours of kids series series Oddbods

FremantleMedia International has added non-scripted titles Miriam’s Big American Adventure, Indian Summer School, Boundless Productions’ Love in the Countryside and Arrow Media’s Inside Balmoral to its slate

Nat Geo Kids Latin America has acquired Dot., the kids series from Randy Zuckerberg that looks to inspire responsible digital engagement and has also taken Cake’s Pablo

Lagadere Studios is restructuring its African distribution subsidiary DIFFA, handing the remit its distribution chief Emmanuelle Bouilhaguet

Zed is coproducing its first American documentary show, US$1.6 million doc series Korea: The Never-Ending War, with PBS and Weta, and sales have been secured with the likes of BBC Four and Arte France. The French prodco is also coproducing Ancient Earth with US SVOD platform CuriosityStream

Entertainment One has made new content deals for preschool series PJ Masks with Chinese VOD players Tencent, iQiyi and Youku

Avalon and Vertical Networks are taking the unscripted comedy format Ghost Hunt to US nNetworks following success on Snapchat

German channel ZDFneo has boarded The Day, a 12x45mins drama from Dynamic Television, Flemish prodcos FBO and Woestijnvis and broadcaster SBS

Raw has been commissioned by ITV to produce a fourth series of documentary series Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport 

RTVE and TV Catalunya in Spain have acquired Bradley and Bee, a preschool series from Scottish producer Red Kite Animation

Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution ups Greg Drebin from senior VP to executive VP of worldwide marketing, meaning he now oversees research and marketing for Fox Networks Group Content Distribution

Endemol Shine Group has announced deals in Canada and Australia to air its first-ever Big Brother: Celebrity Edition

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