News round-up: Studio Hamburg meets ‘My Husband’s Wife’; Espresso brews German factual sales; ‘Expedition’ S2 goes global

My Husband’s Wife

Studio Hamburg meets ‘My Husband’s Wife’

German distributor Studio Hamburg Enterprises has acquired international rights to Finnish drama series My Husband’s Wife.

The 8 x 45-minute, which has been produced by Lucy Loves Drama for broadcaster YLE, is set to debut in January 2022.

Written by Juuli Niemi and directed by his sister Inara Niemi, My Husband’s Wife tells the story of a businessman whose decades-long double life is revealed after he suffers from a massive stroke.

After two women arrive claiming to be his wife, the businessman dies and leaves his two partners and their children with a million questions and major financial problems.

The cast includes Kristo Salminen, Pirjo Lonka, Bruno Baer, Sara Soulié and Ella Kangas.

Kerstin Grünwald, director of international sales at Studio Hamburg Enterprises, described the series as “an emotionally intense drama series with a universal appeal, with a captivating plot filled with lies, deception, and ultimately friendship in the face of adversity.”

Espresso brews German factual sales

German broadcasters Welt, ZDFE, RTL and Deustche Welle have acquired a range of factual programming following deals with distributor Espresso Media International.

Welt has acquired two space-themed productions from Somadrome, the 1 x 52-minute Off Earth and the 1 x 52-minute A Message To The Stars.

ZDFE, meanwhile, has taken a varied package of space, history and crime documentaries, including Life Behind the Stars (1 x 52-minutes), Asteroids: A New Horizon (2 x 52-minutes), Foo Fighters: Then and Now (2 x 45-minutes), Syndrome K: The Disease That Stopped the Nazis (1 x 52-minutes) and Catching Killers (10 x 52-minutes).

RTL has picked up the The Pickup Game (1 x 98-minutes), while Deustche Welle has licensed Not Carol and No Small Matter and re-licensed India’s Forgotten People.

Expedition

‘Expedition’ S2 goes global

UKTV and PBS are among broadcasters and platforms in more than 140 territories to pick up the second season of unscripted adventure series Expedition, following pre-sale deals with distributor Fremantle.

Produced by True to Nature Productions for UKTV, the 6 x 60-minute second season will launch in the UK on 28November on Dave channel, in addition to on-demand service UKTV Play. It is also set to air on France Télévisions (France), PBS (US), BBC Earth (Africa, Asia and via Blue Ant Media in Canada), Discovery (Latin America), SBS (Australia) and Quebecor Content (French speaking Canada).

Other broadcasters who have acquired the second series include VRT (Belgium), DR (Denmark), AMC Networks International Central & Northern Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia), MTV OY (Finland), Ushuaïa TV (France), ERT (Greece), Ananey (Israel), TV3 Group (Latvia, Lithuania), Macedonia Radio & Television (North Macedonia), OSN (Middle East and North Africa), AMC Networks International Southern Europe (Portugal), Telefonica (Spain), UR – Sveriges Utbildningsradio (Sweden) and Bloomberg (Turkey).

Angela Neillis, SVP non-scripted content, international at Fremantle commented: “With the second season of Expedition on our distribution slate, just as stunning as the last, Fremantle continues to prove itself as a key contender in the factual sphere.  We are thrilled to be working with True To Nature Productions again.”

NBCUniversal International Studios rebrands

NBCUniversal International Studios has rebranded to Universal International Studios to further align with Universal Studio Group and its sister studios UCP, Universal Television and Universal Television Alternative Studio.

The UK-based studio comprises production companies including Matchbox Pictures (Clickbait), Working Title Television (We Are Lady Parts), Carnival Films (Downton Abbey) and Monkey Kingdom (Made In Chelsea).

Based in London and LA, the studio also houses a scripted programming unit, which develops and produces content such as the upcoming third season of Hanna for Amazon Prime Video, and BBC family adventure drama, Dodger.

Pearlena Igbokwe, chairman of Universal Studio Group, said: “We want the marketplace to know we are truly Universal. As a unified studio group, home to world-leading talent, we have access to enviable resources within the NBCUniversal ecosystem. So, with our international studio now more aligned than ever, we are firmly positioned to truly harness the global power of our four studio divisions to create more ground-breaking original series for local and global audiences.”

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