News round-up: ABC to pilot UK’s ‘Motherland’; WBD strikes HBO deal in Japan; Scorpion’s Beatles travel


ABC to pilot UK’s Motherland

ABC in the US is set to order a pilot of Motherland, the UK sitcom from Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman Television.

The show debuted on BBC Two in 2016 and has previously been in the works with Sundance and Hulu in the US, moving from the latter to ABC last year.

The format is sold by Lionsgate and tracks mothers and a father as they attempt to parent. Variety first reported the imminent deal with Disney-owned ABC.

WBD strikes HBO deal in Japan

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has extended its SVOD pact with Japanese streamer U-Next, as itsthird-party licensing pacts continue.

The agreement sees U-Next continue as the streaming home of HBO in Japan, offering more than 2,300 episodes of library content to its subscribers.

Exclusive content rights for HBO, HBO Original and HBO Max Original series have been picked up, allow the streamer to offer shows ranging from House of the Dragon and The Last of Us to Succession.

A similar deal was unveiled with Foxtel in Australia last week, as WBD increases its third-party pacts.

Scorpion’s Beatles travel

Germany’s Koch Media, Italy’s Nexo Digital and Norway’s Film På Farta arw among companies to have picked up shows from London-based distributor Scorpion TV.

Meeting The Beatles In India was produced by Paul Saltzman and executive produced by David Lynch. It has been narrated by Morgan Freeman and revisits 1968, when 23-year-old Saltzman spent a week hanging out with the Beatles at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Elsewhere, VRPO in the Netherlands and YLE in Finland have acquired France Télévisions’ topical documentary A President, Europe and War. It provides a fly-on-the-wall account of French president Emmanuel Macron’s handling of the Russian Ukrainian conflict in its first few months.

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