Fremantle has acquired global rights outside of North America to The Piano, the UK talent format from Sky-owned Love Productions.
The show recently launched in the UK on Channel 4 and sees aspiring pianists performing on public pianos in train stations, with two acclaimed performers secretly watching on.
They then choose one pianist to be given the chance to play on one of the world’s most prestigious stages.
The Piano has proven a hit for C4, which also airs the UK version of Love’s long-running Bake Off format.
It is sold globally by BBC Studios (BBCS) because of a deal that preceded Sky’s first investment in Love in 2014 when it took a 70% stake in the prodco, which was founded by Richard McKerrow and Anna Beattie in 2005.
That deal handed Sky Vision distribution rights to new programming from the prodco, but not Bake Off. Love does, however, retain North America format rights, as per The Piano pact. Sky Vision was subsequently merged into NBCUniversal’s international sales arm in 2019.
Vasha Wallace, EVP of global acquisitions & development at Fremantle, said: “To say we’re thrilled to have the rights to this format is an understatement. The Piano is emotional, authentic and one of the most compelling shows I have ever watched.”