News round-up: Acorn TV renews ‘Agatha Raisin’ for fourth run; FilmRise & Reel One ink distribution deal; BBCS signs first-look deal with Youngest Media

Agatha Raisin

Acorn TV renews ‘Agatha Raisin’ for fourth run

AMC Networks-owned streamer Acorn TV has commissioned a fourth season of mystery series Agatha Raisin, based upon the novels by MC Beaton.

Free@Last TV’s Barry Ryan and David Walton will continue to produce the series, with Catherine Mackin from Acorn Media Enterprise and Michele Buck from All3Media-owned Company Pictures as executive producers; and produced in association with All3Media International.

The series, which will consist of three feature-length episodes and a winter special, will be co-produced by Charles Palmer and Mick Panteleom with Ian Strachan returns as line producer.

Acorn Media International will distribute in most English-speaking territories and international distributor All3Media international will distribute in the rest of the world, including the UK and Australia.

Ashley Jensen will return in the title role as the former high-powered London PR guru, who retired early to a small, picturesque village in the Cotswolds and found a second calling as a sassy private investigator

Season four will start production in March and will be available as 8 x 45-minute episodes or 4 x 90-minute television movies. The Acorn TV Original series will debut the new episodes in late 2021/early 2022.

Detective McLean

FilmRise & Reel One ink distribution deal

New York-based TV and film studio and streaming network FilmRise has inked a distribution agreement with Reel One Entertainment, picking up a package of 15 originally produced romantic comedy films, and licensing an additional 100 titles consisting of made-for-TV movies and TV series.

Among the original film package are A Picture Perfect Wedding and A Wedding to Remember. FilmRise will also be the exclusive US distributor across streaming outlets for the licensed made-for-TV movies and series and will sell television rights alongside Reel One.  These programs include over 100 titles comprised of female-fronted thrillers that debuted on Lifetime, and holiday, genre films, and series such as the family-friendly crime-drama Detective McLean.

Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, commented: “We are excited to bring these films and TV series to our digital partners and the FilmRise Streaming Network.  Feel-good movies have made networks successful over many years, and now more than ever, they have become comfort-viewing for audiences during these challenging times.”

BBCS signs first-look deal with Youngest Media

BBC Studios has signed a first-look distribution deal with entertainment indie Youngest Media, giving BBC Studios access to Youngest’s game shows and entertainment formats.

BBC Studios will represent Youngest Media’s formats in all territories other than the UK, Germany, Netherlands and the US.

The agreement also sees BBC Studios represent youngest Media’s game show, Small Fortune, which was a primetime hit for ITV, and which has subsequently been adapted for the US and South Korea.

Mark Linsey, BBC Studios’ CCO, said: “When it comes to those big commercial entertainment formats, Youngest is one of the best. They have established themselves as experts in turning brilliant big entertainment ideas into sellable formats with universal appeal. We’re delighted to be working with the team to take their new projects to market, further broadening our format catalogue and complementing our existing portfolio of titles.”

The Station: Trouble On The Tracks

TVF unveils winter slate

Indie distributor TVF International has revealed its winter slate of new unscripted programming acquired since MIPCOM 2020, with 25 shows spanning fact-ent, science, world affairs and history programming.

Leading the fact-ent genre is The Station: Trouble On The Tracks (3 x 50-minutes) from Films of Record for ITV1, which gains access to Britain’s busiest interchange, revealing the feat of running this major transport hub from all angles. The distributor will also be releasing family-friendly series and format A Dog For Life (13 x 24-minutes) from Grays Matter Films, which matches rescue dogs of all shapes and sizes with loving families and individuals in search of the perfect canine companion. The series was deficit financed by TVF International with Netflix as the leading broadcaster.

TVF International is also offering more than 20 hours of new science and engineering programming, including Jim Al-Khalili’s Guide To How We Got Here (2 x 50-minutes) from Furnace Productions and Windfall Films special Building The Channel Tunnel (1 x 52-minutes).

In History programming, Lost Pyramids Of The Aztecs (2 x 50-minutes) from Windfall Films sits alongside How Islam Built The Modern World (1 x 60), another Jim Al-Khalili hosted special from Atomized Studios.

The distributor will be presenting this slate at two virtual showcase events on Thursday 25 February.

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