News round-up: Viaplay, Virgin Media join ‘The Holiday’; Arte explores ‘Ukraine’s War: Europe’s Dilemma’; Discovery+ preps competition show

Jill Halfpenny & Owen McDonnell

Viaplay, Virgin Media join The Holiday

Nordic streamer Viaplay and Virgin Media in Ireland have struck pre-sale deals for forthcoming UK drama The Holiday.

The show, which was commissioned by ViacomCBS-owned Channel 5 in the UK, is being produced by NENT Studios UK, which is part of Viaplay owner Nordic Entertainment Group.

Jill Halfpenny (The Drowning) and Owen McDonnell (Killing Eve) have been confirmed in the lead roles for the 4 x 60-minute thriller, which based on TM Logan’s bestseller of the same name. It has been developed by NENT Studios UK, Projector Pictures, Clapperboard Studios and Night Train Media.

The show has been adapted by Michael Crompton (Silent Witness), with Dave Clarke from NENT Studios UK, Rachel Gesua and Trevor Eve from Projector Pictures, Mike Benson from Clapperboard Studios, Herbert Kloiber and Olivia Pahl from Night Train Media executive producing. It will premiere on C5 in the UK, VMTV Ireland and on Viaplay as a Viaplay Original in the Nordic region, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania later this year.

Arte explores Ukraine’s War: Europe’s Dilemma

European cultural channel Arte and German network RBB have ordered a fast-turnaround doc about the unfolding crisis in the Ukraine.

Ukraine’s War: Europe’s Dilemma is from LOOKSfilm and explores how 100,000 Russian troops massed along the Ukrainian border, causing an escalation of tensions that could cause long-term problems in the region.

UK director Claire Walding is attached to the doc, which will assess the challenges facing the democracy and review Zelensky’s presidency from his inauguration in May 2019 until today. Zelensky is a relative political newcomer, who first became known as ‘president’ in the TV series Servant Of The People.

Discovery+ preps competition show

Discovery+ has greenlit a new competition series challenging top artisans to produce stunning creations.

The 6 x 60-minute Meet Your Makers Showdown will see four of the world’s best artisans complete two challenges that test their ingenious creativity, unique skills and passion for their craft. It will be available to stream on the service later this year. 

Actress and recording artist Chrissy Metz will host the show, while singer/songwriter LeAnn Rimes will lead fellow judges on a walkthrough among contestants that delves into each artist’s creative process, uncovering what makes them tick.

Craft expert judge and TV host Mark Montano will meanwhile evaluate each maker’s technique and originality, and together with a weekly guest judge, the three will award $10,000 to the maker who produces the best creation – from paper art and fluid painting to candle making and artisanal soap.

“Meet Your Makers Showdown spotlights the nation’s obsession with handcrafted goods as featured in the countless viral videos and tutorials exploding on social media,” said Jane Latman, president, HGTV, whose team also greenlights home content for discovery+. “With encouragement from creative powerhouses Chrissy Metz, LeAnn Rimes and Mark Montano, these makers will pull out all the stops to impress the judges, make boutique-worthy creations, and walk away with a $10,000 prize.”

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