News round-up: ITV Studios sells 300+ hours in India; Newen Connect to distribute Italy’s ‘Christian’ and more…


ITV Studios sells 300+ hours in India

Soon-to-launch streamer Discovery+, Lionsgate Play and Viacom 18 have collectively acquired more than 300 hours of scripted and non-scripted content for India in a raft of deals with ITV Studios.

Discovery+ has signed a deal for factual titles including Atlantic Productions’ Attenborough’s Journey, a look back at Sir David Attenborough’s long career in broadcasting, Impossible Engineering and The Indian Dream Hotel, both produced by Twofour, and the UK version of Autopsy: The Last Hours of… produced by ITV Studios label, Potato.

Lionsgate Play has meanwhile acquired World Productions’ forthcoming thriller Vigil, as well as Romulus, Cattleya, Groenlandia and Sky’s drama about the founding of Rome. Also included is The Singapore Grip from Mammoth Screen, adapted from J.G. Farrell’s classic novel and Warp Films’ Little Birds, inspired by the short stories created by Anais Nin.

ITV Studios’ reality format Love Island will also be available to viewers in India, with Viacom 18 acquiring both series of Love Island USA.

The deals were brokered on behalf of ITV Studios by Bharti Mittal, director of content sales for South Asia.

Newen Connect to distribute Italy’s ‘Christian’

Newen Connect, the distribution arm of TF1 Group-owned Newen has secured global sales rights to supernatural crime series Christian.

Commissioned by Sky Studios for Sky Italia and produced by Lucky Red, the series entered production in November and is shooting in Rome.

Directed by Stefano Lodovichi (The Hunter) and Roberto “Saku” Cinardi and starring Edoardo Pesce (Dogman) and Claudio Santamaria (Romanzo Criminale), the six-part series follows Christian, a henchman for a local crime boss in Rome’s outskirts who suddenly starts exhibiting stigmata and begins working miracles.

“An absolutely original story like Christian deserved a cast matching its uniqueness and we were able to put it together. Edoardo Pesce and Claudio Santamaria lead a great team of Italian talents who will give life to a bold project between crime drama and superheroes movie, with mystical and supernatural nuances,” said Nicola Maccanico, EVP of programming at Sky Italia.

Rachel Kaplan

Keshet’s Kaplan launches prodco, signs overall WB deal

Rachel Kaplan, the former head of scripted for Keshet Studios, has launched a new production company, Absecon Entertainment, and struck and overall deal with Warner Bros. Television.

The exclusive multi-year agreement brings her back to the studio where she previously served as VP of drama development, working on shows including Chuck and Gossip Girl.

Under the new deal, Kaplan will develop and produce scripted series for streamers and cable, as well as broadcast networks.

During her time at Keshet, Kaplan exec produced shows including The Baker And The Beauty for ABC and Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector for NBC.

She also exec produced HBO limited series Our Boys, The Brave for NBC and Wisdom of the Crowd for CBS.

“It’s very fitting that my first solo deal has landed at the studio where it all started for me,” commented Kaplan.

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