Round-up: ITVS strikes first castle-based ‘I’m A Celebrity’ deal; Disney+ expands in Asia; Hulu adds McCartney docuseries

ITVS strikes first castle-based I’m A Celebrity… deal

Antenna TV in Greece has become the first broadcaster to order a local version of ITV Studios castle-based celebrity format I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!. 

The commission comes a year after ITVS revamped the format in the wake of the pandemic, moving production to a ruined castle in Wales.

The company has now turned a castle in Poland into a production hub, which will be the base for the Greek version of the show. ITVS said the hub offered “a turnkey package” including game materials and technical facilities to hotel and catering.

The Greek castle version will be produced by Silverline Media Productions and is expected to air on Antenna in 2022.

Maarten Meijs, president at global entertainment at ITVS, said: “The castle version of I Am A Celebrity in Wales was the biggest show of 2020, boasting huge viewership for its first edition filmed in the UK. The series has served as an inspiration for our international team as well as our clients.

“On the back of this success we have sourced an alternative castle location which we have found in Poland.”

Disney+ expands in Asia

Disney+ is expanding its reach in Asia with plans to launch in Thailand and Malaysia in the coming months.

The Mouse House, which last week revealed a decline in growth for its streamer over the past quarter, said Disney+ would be launched in Malaysia on 1 June and in Thailand on 30 June.

It will offer subscribers shows including WandaVisions and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, as well as a swathe of library series and movies.

Hulu adds McCartney docuseries

US streamer Hulu has ordered a docuseries featuring former Beatle musician Paul McCartney.

McCartney 3,2,1 is a six-episoder that features revealing examinations of musical history from the former Beatle and producer Rick Rubin. It is being produced with Endeavor Content and exec producers include McCartney, Rubin, Scott Rodger and Peter Berg.

It debuts 16 July on Disney-owned Hulu, joining other documentary series and films that examine influential and significant figures in world history such as Hillary, I Am Greta and The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years.

Zachary Heinzerling directs McCartney 3,2,1, with Endeavor Content attached as the studio, producing alongside MPL Communications, Shangri-La, Film 45, Kennedy Marshall and Diamond Docs.

Red Arrow strikes Hallmark deal

Red Arrow Studios International has acquired 16 of new US-produced romantic comedy and holiday TV movie titles.

Among the films joining the company’s catalogue are 12 x 90-minute features originall commissioned for Hallmark, including Hearts Of Winter and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, produced by Lighthouse Pictures, as well as Wedding Every Weekend, Beverly Hills Wedding and Taking A Shot At Love from Front Street Pictures.

Additionally, the four new 90-minute holiday titles are: Christmas Yule Blog produced by Basset Hound Distribution for Lifetime; Time For Us To Come Home for Christmas and Christmas Tree Grows In Colorado produced by Front Street Pictures for Hallmark and Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding (#2), which was produced by Front Street Pictures for A&E.

Red Arrow Studios International holds worldwide distribution rights (excl. US and Canada) for the 16 new titles.

ZDFE shops ‘Huss’

ZDF Enterprises has launched distribution of Swedish crime thriller Huss, which it co-produced with Yellow Bird Productions.

The 5 x 90-minute / 10 x 45-minute series is inspired by Helene Tursten’s novels and tells the story of Katarina Huss, an ambitious new graduate of Sweden’s police academy, who is drawn into a tangled web of corruption and betrayal.

Other co-production partners for the drama are Viaplay, Discovery and German broadcaster ZDF with ZDF Enterprises retaining international distribution rights.

Robert Franke, VP of ZDFE.drama, ZDF Enterprises, said: “We are excited to be part of this major new drama, a complex thriller that has a fantastic array of talent behind it. There is a huge appetite in the market for procedural crime series which makes HUSS a key title in our scripted slate.”

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