Scripted round-up: Netflix buys Israel’s ‘Blackspace’; Hulu reboots ‘How I Met Your Mother’; Ovation adds ‘Frankie Drake’


Netflix buys Israel’s Blackspace

Netflix has picked up rights around the world to Federation Entertainment’s Israeli drama Blackspace.

The 8 x 60-minute psychological thriller is set in an Israeli high school and has been written by Anat Gafni and Sahar Shavit, with Drama Team and Federation producing for local network Reshet 13.

It has now been acquired by RTL in Germany and NPO in the Netherlands, while an as-yet undisclosed streamer has snagged Latin America rights. Netflix has bought rest of world.

The story tracks how a normal morning at a small-town high school in Israel turns into a nightmare when anonymous masked figures commit a massacre leaving four students dead. Federation holds worldwide rights to Blackspace, which is moving into a second season.

How I Met Your Mother

Disney spins How I Met Your Mother

Disney-owned streamer Hulu has ordered a sequel to hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother, with Hilary Duff set to star.

The as-yet untitled new show, which tracks Sophie (Duff) telling her son how she met his father, is from This Is Us showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger.

How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are attached as executive producers, with the original show’s studio, 20th Television, producing the sequel.

How I Met Your Mother aired on CBS for nine seasons, ending in 2014.

Frankie Drake Mysteries

Ovation welcomes DCD’s Frankie Drake

Ovation TV in the US is among operators to pick up rights to crime series Frankie Drake Mysteries from  UK-based distributor DCD Rights.

The US deal, which follows a PBS Distribution streaming window, is amongst a raft of sales for the show, which has also been sold to Epic Drama and VIP Serial for Central & Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS, Seven Network in Australia, YLE in Finland, Sky TV Network in New Zealand, and HRT in Croatia.

The show is produced by Canada’s Shaftesbury Productions in association with CBC and UKTV.

DCD has also pre-sold crime drama My Life Is Murder to UKTV’s channel Alibi, as well as striking a raft of sales including with The Walt Disney Company for Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa. The show is a Greenstone TV production for TVNZ, Acorn TV and DCD Rights, in association with Network 10.

Nikki May

Elizabeth Kilgarriff’s Firebird snags Wahala

Firebird Pictures, the BBC Studios-backed drama production house co-founded by former BBC commissioning editor Elizabeth Kilgarriff, has optioned Nikki May’s debut novel Wahala.

The show follows three 30-something Anglo-Nigerian female friends living in London, whose lives are torn apart when the arrival of a charismatic woman causes tensions to mount, until a hidden trauma reveals itself in a tragic act.

Kilgarriff said: “Being entrusted by Nikki to bring the wonderful Wahala to screen is a huge privilege. Putting female friendship under the spotlight and featuring real, funny and refreshingly imperfect women, Nikki has created a story that is both utterly relatable and fantastically epic – everything you could want to make standout, thrilling and entertaining drama with plenty to say about our lives today.”

TV rights were acquired by Firebird co-founder Craig Holleworth from ICM literary agent Josie Freedom on behalf of Hannah Ladds at the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency.

Viaplay unveils first Estonian drama

Viaplay has unveiled its first original production from Estonia.

Who Shot Otto Mueller? is helmed by director René Vilbre and has been written by Birk Rohelend. The show explores what happens when a famous businessman and former Soviet wrestling star is found murdered in his manor on his 65th birthday.

Tallinn-based Cuba Films is producing, with the show set to premiere exclusively on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service in Estonia and across the Baltic region. The streamer launched in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on 9 March.

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