News round-up: Sky UK picks up ‘Beep & Mort’; Batal Boys producing ‘Pickleballers’; Blue Ant shops custody battle doc

Beep & Mort

Sky UK picks up ‘Beep & Mort’

Sky UK has acquired Australian kids’ series Beep & Mort for its new linear channel Sky Kids, following a deal with distributor ABC Commercial.

Produced by Windmill Pictures, the puppet-based series follows the adventures of best friends Beep, a robot from the stars, and Mort, a cuddly creature from Mollyvale. Beep & Mort launched on ABC TV in October 2022 and is directed by Rosemary and produced by Kaye Weeks.

“The ABC is renowned for creating and commissioning high quality, engaging children’s content, and Beep & Mort fits firmly in that category.

“Sky Kids’ acquisition of Beep & Mort will fit seamlessly into their launch line-up and beyond. We’re thrilled that UK audiences can now enjoy this beautiful Australian production,” said Karen Quinn, manager of content sales for ABC Commercial.

Batal Boys producing ‘Pickleballers’

LA prodco Batal Boys is working on Pickleballers, a competitive reality series featuring some of the US’ best amateur pickleball players along with professional pickleball coaches and a host of pickleball-enthusiast celebrities.

The show will give viewers an inside look into the competitive world of pickleball and the ever-growing community of professionals and amateurs who are passionate about the sport. Thousands of potential contestants will vie for 12 spots (six men and six women) on two teams. Four players on each team will be selected based on their skills and go on to the final pickleball match and a chance to win $100,000 and a minor league pickleball contract.

The two coaches will be Sam Querrey, a rising pickleball star and former tennis champion having played at Wimbledon, the Davis Cup and the Olympics, and Wes Burrows, a professional pickleball player in Major League Pickleball. “This show is about finding the next superstars in pickleball,” said Querrey.

“Pickleball has an incredible number of colorful personalities that would make Pickleballers not only exciting to watch, but a compelling and fun show as well,” said Tarik Batal. “This sport is gaining an incredible amount of momentum and the pickleball community is ripe for a reality show to introduce the sport to existing and new audiences.”

Blue Ant shops custody battle doc

Blue Ant International has acquired exclusive rights to the Amazon Original docuseries Three Mothers, Two Babies and a Scandal.

Produced by Scottish indie Firecrest Films, the 3 x 60-minutes series tells the story of the internet adoptions of twin babies, by two separate families on two different continents, and the Trans-Atlantic custody battle and media storm that ensued. The title originally launched on Prime Video in the UK and Ireland in November 2022.

Three Mothers, Two Babies and A Scandal offers unrivaled access to the women at the centre of a media firestorm, weaving a rich narrative that has all the ingredients to captivate worldwide audiences: kidnapping, black magic, unfit parents and four separate contests for custody,” said Ben Barrett, Blue Ant International’s global head of content financing & partnership.

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