Deals round-up: PBS takes Backshall, visits Vienna; UK, Germany land ‘Secret Song’; APC boards ‘Invisible Line’

Expedition With Steve Backshall

PBS explores with Backshall, visits Vienna

PBS in the US is preparing to air 10-part adventure series Expedition With Steve Backshall and has agreed a deal for Red Arrow Studios drama Vienna Blood.

Expedition With Steve Backshall, which will launch on PBS on 15 January, is produced by Sky-backed True To Nature and was originally commissioned by the BBC and UKTV in association with Fremantle, which sells globally. The show attempts world firsts, such as the first descent of a white-water river in the Himalayas and climbing mountains in the deserts of the Middle East.

In the UK, the full 10 x 60 minute series launched on UKTV’s Dave earlier this year, after the first four hour-long episodes premiered on BBC Two. Fremantle has sold the series into over 140 territories worldwide to date, including a pre-sale to France Televisions.

Vienna Blood

In related news, PBS has picked up six-part crime drama Vienna Blood from Red Arrow Studios International. The series is produced by Red Arrows’ Endor Productions along with MR Film for Germany’s ZDF and Austria’s ORF. It has been written by screenwriter Steve Thompson (Sherlock) and is based on the best-selling Liebermann novels by Frank Tallis.

Maria Bruno Ruiz, VP of programme scheduling at PBS, describe the show as “a compelling whodunit that captivated us from the start.”

Red Arrow Studios International, which sells globally and led the co-financing of the series, has also sold Vienna Blood to BBC Two in the UK. Its premiere attracted 1.8 million viewers, topping the channel’s average slot share of 1.1m by 63%, according to the German firm.

UK, Germany land The Secret Song

ITV Studios in Germany and Scotland’s STV Productions have optioned remake rights to Le Chanson Secrete (The Secret Song), the entertainment format that originally aired on TF1 and is sold by Vivendi Entertainment.

The show is being developed for the UK by STV, having been created by France’s DMLSTV. It follows celebrities who sit in a chair in the middle of a stage as their families and friends start playing a song to them that means something.

The show was launched at MIPTV in April and has previously been picked up in Finland, which marked its first international deal.

APC boards The Invisible Line

The Invisible Line

About Premium Content (APC) has boarded Movistar+’s drama series The Invisible Line, taking global distribution rights outside Spain and Latin America.

The show is produced by Movistar+ in collaboration with Sentido Films and Corte y Confección de Peclículas, It is based on an original idea from Abel García Roure and has been written by Michel Gaztambide and Alejandro Hernández, with Mariano Barroso directing.

The 6 x 45 minute Spanish-language drama will premiere on Movistar in 2020, with the show marking APC’s second collaboration with the broadcaster. The duo have previously worked together on returning series Gigantes.

True Vision, Foxtel snag GRB’s BBQ and weapons

Thai broadcaster True Vision and Aussie pay operator Foxtel have picked up shows from UK-based GRB Studios.

True Vision has acquired cookery series BBQ Pitmasters and Man at Arms: Art of War, which explores the role of weapons and armour in pop culture, while India’s AETN18 has added sports clip-show series, Whacked Out Sports.

Elsewhere, Foxtel Australia and Formulation in Japan have picked up On The Case, the Discovery true crime series that explores murder mysteries through in-depth interviews with those closest to the case and cutting-edge forensic methods.

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