News round-up: Be-Entertainment to shop ‘Swipe Around’; The CW picks up ‘Fantastic Friends’; Campanario & Addiction House strike pact

Swipe Around

Be-Entertainment to shop ‘Swipe Around’

Be-Entertainment has acquired the global distribution rights to Swipe Around, the dating format that will launch on Belgian network VTM2 tonight.

The format, which has already been on air for five seasons on ATV in Austria, sees various best friend duos on a city trip in Europe, where they swipe around for a hot date. Who’ll succeed in finding romance, and who’ll flee the scene?

The show is based on a format owned by ATV Austria and produced for VTM2 by Hotel Hungaria.

Fantastic Friends

The CW picks up ‘Fantastic Friends’

The CW Network in the US has picked up the first season of adventure-travel series Fantastic Friends and committed to a second, which has also been acquired by HBO Max EMEA and Crave in Canada.

Produced by Dash Pictures, and launched by ZDF Enterprises-owned European factual producer and distributor Off The Fence in 2021, Fantastic Friends follows James and Oliver Phelps, who played the Weasley twins in the Harry Potter movie franchise as they travel the world, meeting famous faces, exploring incredible sights and taking on phenomenal challenges.

The second season has been extended from six to eight episodes and will see more famous faces from the Harry Potter franchise join the James and Oliver on their travels, including Mark Williams, who played the twins’ father in the films, Matt Lewis, Alfie Enoch, Nat Tena and Stanislav Yanevski.

Stefanie Fischer, OTF’s managing director of sales, said: “We’ve seen the success that Fantastic Friends has had internationally, with broadcasters coming back for the second season. We’re thrilled that US audiences will now get to share in that excitement on the CW.”

Campanario & Addiction House strike production pact

Campanario Entertainment has struck a production partnership with Addiction House to develop and produce five scripted and unscripted projects in both English and Spanish.

Led by Jaime Dávila, Campanario Entertainment is behind Netflix original, Selena: The Series, as well as La Flor Mas Bella and Mexican Dynasties. Together, Campanario Entertainment and Addiction House created and produced the Prime Video Spanish-language dramedy Como Sobrevivir Soltero.

Addiction House is a production company based in Mexico City and Los Angeles co-founded and led by Sebastian Zurita, Emiliano Zurita, and Ricardo Gaspar. Together, they develop original content in television and theater, along with films. Emiliano and Sebastian Zurita are the creators, directors, and executive producers of Como Sobrevivir Soltero, and their latest Addiction House original mockumentary-style comedy, Champions Gym, was recently acquired by Sony Entertainment.

The partnership kicks off with the development of a television series and film, both are scripted. The TV series, Magic, is co-created by Sebastian and Emiliano Zurita, and is a comedy that follows six amateur magicians who are brought together to be part of a star magician’s content house. Only one will inherit the workshop and all his secrets.

Meanwhile, the film, How To Rob A Bank, is created by Alex Suarez and centered around a talented, but unemployed actor that’s decided to play the role of a lifetime to save himself from financial ruin – by robbing a bank.

Amazon pledges £2m apprenticeship funding

Amazon has pledged £2m in support for more than 100 new apprenticeships in organisations across the creative industries, doubling its creative industries apprenticeship levy funding.

This funds apprenticeships across the sector including the BRIT Trust and the Association for Independent Music and Women in CTRL; a Screen Skills flexible apprenticeship pilot to support both Amazon Original productions such as The Devil’s Hour and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power as well as funding apprentices on non-Amazon productions including Channel 4’s Derry Girls.

The new funding comes after Amazon revealed it had invested more than £4.2bn in the creative industries since 2010 across Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon Publishing, Prime Video, Audible, Amazon Fashion, Amazon Music, Amazon Games and others.

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