News round-up: Oprah’s Harry & Meghan chat goes global; BBCS, Nine prep Weakest Link; NENT UK joins ‘Manhunt’

CBS Presents Oprah With Meghan And Harry

Oprah’s Harry & Meghan chat goes global

ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group has struck a raft of deals for its interview show CBS Presents Oprah With Meghan And Harry, ahead of its broadcast on Sunday on CBS in the US.

M-Net in sub-Saharan Africa, Network 10 in Australia, Belgium’s VRT and Canada’s Global TV have all acquired rights, along with RTL in Croatia and Germany, Iceland’s Siminn and RTÉ 2 in Ireland.

Israel’s YesDocu, Sky Italia, Net5 in The Netherlands, Discovery NZ and Three, plus TV3 and Viafree in the Nordics have also struck deals for the show, which has already been sold to ITV in the UK.

The show will see chatshow host Oprah Winfrey speaking to Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to how she is handling life under intense public pressure.

Later, the two are joined by Prince Harry as they speak about their move to the US and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family. The special is produced by Harpo Productions.

BBCS, Nine prep Weakest Link return in Oz

Australia’s Nine Network has commissioned a new season of quiz show format Weakest Link, marking its return to the country after a 19-year hiatus.

The show, which has been produced in 46 territories to date, is being produced by BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand, having last aired on Seven Network in Oz in 2002.

This latest commission follows the format’s return in the US, where it was rebooted by NBC after almost 20 years off-air.

Kylie Washington, BBCS’ ANZ director of production, said: “We are delighted to reintroduce Australians to this fast, fun and addictive show which is a pop cultural phenomenon and has been entertaining audiences around the world for over two decades.”

Adrian Swift, Nine’s head of content, production & development, added: “Weakest Link is one of the world’s most loved and enduring quiz formats. It’s not just about what you know, but also knowing who’s your biggest threat and when to bank your winnings. We are very proud to have the new Weakest Link here on Nine.”


Acorn TV, Seven join ITV drama Manhunt

Acorn TV has joined as a coproduction partner on the second season of ITV drama Manhunt, one of a raft of deals struck by distributor NENT Studios UK.

The second run of the Martin Clunes-starring drama, known as Manhunt II: The Night Stalker, has been acquired by Acorn TV for North and South America, while Seven Network in Australia has also joined as a coproduction partner.

Pre-sales have been struck with DR in Denmark, VRT in Belgium, SVT in Sweden, Filmin in Spain, NRK in Norway and NOS in the Netherlands.

Both Manhunt and Manhunt II: The Night Stalker are produced by Buffalo Pictures and written, and executive produced, by Ed Whitmore (Silent Witness). The second instalment, a four-part drama, tells the real-life story of the police pursuit of a notorious serial rapist whose 17-year reign of terror left thousands of elderly people in south east London living in fear.

BritBox & BBC visit Hope Street

BritBox in North America has partnered with the BBC on a new daytime drama.

Hope Street is a serial crime series that will premiere exclusively on BBC Studios and ITV-owned BritBox in the US and Canada and on BBC Daytime and BBC Northern Ireland in the UK.

The show is set in the fictional town of Port Devine on the Northern Ireland coast and has been created by Susanne Farrell (Dirty God) and Paul Marquess (London Kills), with Long Story TV producing.

Farrell, Jess Lea (EastEnders), Christine Murphy (Emmerdale), Stuart Drennan (Hollyoaks) and Shazia Rashid (EastEnders) are writing, while Long Story TV’s Donna Wiffen and Marquess exec produce.

Hope Street focuses on Port Devine’s police department and the mysterious arrival of English detective constable Alimah Kahn, the first Muslim police officer in the town’s history.

The Surrogates

Silverlining sells Surrogates

A raft of broadcasters including SBS in Australia have secured rights to upcoming BBC Three series The Surrogates.

The 3 x 60-minute show, which will debut on UK online only channel BBC Three on 14 March prior to airing on BBC One, is produced by UK-based Sundog Pictures and explores the world of surrogacy from the perspectives of both the intended parents and the surrogates.

It is sold and has been gap financed by distributor Silverlining, with pre-sale deals struck in Belgium (Medialaan), Germany (ProSiebensat), Denmark (TV2) and Norway (TV2), in addition to SBS in Oz.

“Many producers are unaware of the success that can be had with pre-sales in raising that final tranche of funding they need,” said Bethan Corney, founder & head of originals & co-pros at Silverlining. “Not only that but it can be more lucrative for the producer. The commission fee we charge on raising pre-sales is significantly less than what a distributor would charge to recoup their distribution advance.”

Corney added: “Silverlining is in that sweet spot for finding £25,000 ($35,000) – £70,000 per hour of funding through pre-sales with our extensive broadcaster contacts. We’re also currently in the final throes of sourcing almost 50% of the budget for a new prime time series with a royal slant, to air later this year. It’s really exciting to be instrumental in getting projects like this over the line.”


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