News roundup: Abacus takes Raymond Blanc around the world; Sweden’s SVT enters ‘The Red Room’; Marathon sets first scripted project

Simply Raymond Blanc

Abacus takes Raymond Blanc around the world

Amcomri Media Group-owned Abacus Media Rights has acquired international distribution rights (excluding the UK) to cookery series Simply Raymond Blanc.

The show which launched on ITV in the UK on 30 January is produced by Rock Oyster Media and available as either a 10 x 60-minute or 6 x 30-minute series. It follows celebrity chef Blanc as he creates a collection of new recipes and reveals the workings of the extensive gardens at the world famous Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons where he is chef patron.

Abacus MD Jonathan Ford said the show is “unmissable food TV” and highlighted “Raymond’s addictive energy and continued enthusiasm for natural, in-season ingredients coupled with the creation of simple, sublime dishes” as “front and centre of this personal and revealing series.”

The Red Room

Sweden’s SVT enters ‘The Red Room’

Swedish pubcaster SVT has acquired Turkish drama series The Red Room following a deal with international distributor Eccho Rights.

Originally produced by OGM Pictures for TV8 in Turkey, The Red Room will debut on SVT2 later this spring and becomes the latest show to air in the broadcaster’s Turkish Drama slot.

The series is a psychological drama set in a therapist’s office, with stories told through the eyes of the visiting patients. Victims of childhood abuse, domestic violence and sex crimes enter the clinic, as well as those with more unusual plights, and through their sessions with the core team of therapists, are able to understand what informs their behaviour, their emotions and their psychological state.

“Though the subject matter in The Red Room sometimes asks difficult questions of the viewer, the series has really struck a chord at a time when people have more time than ever for introspection and looking after their mental health,” says Handan Özkubat, director of Turkish Drama at Eccho Rights.

Nora Lakheal – Elite Undercover Agent

Marathon sets first scripted project

Paris-based Marathon Studio, the new joint venture between Banijay France and Malika Abdellaoui, has picked up the television rights to Nora Lakheal’s biography, Nora Lakheal – Elite Undercover Agent.

The story is a first-hand account of the 18 years Lakheal has spent hunting down Islamism terrorists. Infiltrated several terror groups, she is thought to have intercepted a number of planned attacks.

The scripted development acts as Marathon Studio’s first adaptation project based on a book since the announcement of its launch with Banijay France in November.

Malika Abdellaoui, producer and CEO of Marathon Studio commented: “We are honoured to be collaborating with Nora Lakheal on a standout drama based on her own testimony: Elite Undercover Agent. It is a valuable opportunity to bring to screen the story of an ordinary woman who completed extraordinary undercover missions to protect the French Republic against terrorism.”


ZDFE shops ‘Unbroken’ thriller

ZDF Enterprises has acquired global distribution rights to German crime drama Unbroken.

The 6 x 45-minute series was produced by Network Movie for ZDFneo and written by screenwriter and director Marc O. Seng and film director Andreas Linke.

Aylin Tezel stars as the heavily pregnant Detective Superintendent Alex Enders, who disappears without a trace and reappears a week later covered in blood, with no memory and without her baby bump.

Robert Franke, VP of ZDFE.drama, said: “Unbroken, with its highly original plot, is a superbly crafted thriller building up tension and suspense and culminating in a gripping final episode.”

L-R: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sam Branson & Chelsea Clinton

YouTube orders ‘inspiring women’ series from Clinton’s HiddenLight

YouTube has ordered a new original series exploring the stories of inspirational women and produced by HiddenLight Productions, the recently launched outfit from Hillary and Chelsea Clinton and Sam Branson.

Titled If I Could Tell You Just One More Thing, the four-part series will be hosted by British YouTuber Patricia Bright as she hears about the experiences that have changed women’s lives. It is executive produced by Johnny Webb and Nick Betts at HiddenLight.

A pilot episode was released in 2019, hosted by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and featuring guests including Simone Biles and Awkwafina.

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