Working Title UK hires ex-BBC comedy chief

Working Title Television UK has hired former BBC comedy chief Mark Freeland to run its comedy unit. He will join the NBCUniversal International Studios (NBCUIS)-backed producer as head of television comedy, working closely with Andrew Woodhead, managing director of Working Title Television, as well as NBCUIS president Michael Edelstein and executive VP of scripted JoAnn […]

Nat Geo teams with Jay Z, ups scripted commitment

National Geographic is teaming up with rapper Jay Z and The Weinstein Company to make a doc series, Race (WT). The Fox-owned channels group announced the project at its upfront, alongside a raft of other projects, including three new drama series. Race will be based on Jay Z: The War on Drugs is an Epic […]

Gomorrah writer making Gaddafi series

Roberto Saviano, the writer of Italian crime series Gomorrah, is developing a new series about Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Production and distribution group Entertainment One and Montalbano prodco Palomar will make Gaddafi, which Nadav Schirman (The Green Prince) will write with Saviano (right). “This is a TV series about a warrior, a dreamer, who becomes […]

Sky, HBO in $250m high-end drama deal

Leading pay TV players Sky and HBO are joining forces to create a development slate of high-end dramas that will be worth around US$250 million. The pair will aim to develop and co-commission “high-end productions that feature engaging stories with international points of view and casting”. A panel of execs from both companies will greenlight […]

Cohen’s Access buys Packer out of RatPac

Access Entertainment has bought James Packer out of PatPac Entertainment, the US prodco the latter founded with Brett Ratner. The deal hands the media arm of Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries Packer’s stake in the RatPac business and a “major piece” of the RatPac-Dune Entertainment venture that co-finances Warner Bros. Pictures films. Access Entertainment president and […]

BBC Studios taps Red Planet for Wales drama chief

Red Planet Pictures’ Simon Winstone is joining the production arm of UK pubcaster the BBC. He will be head of drama – Wales at BBC Studios, which this month switched from a non-profit organisation to a wholly-owned BBC commercial subsidiary. BBC Studios’ Welsh productions include sci-fi stalwart Doctor Who, soap Casualty (which head of continuing drama […]

Hollywood strike vote underway

Writers Guild of America members have begun voting on whether to strike over a labour dispute. The vote started yesterday at 7.30pm PT at a meeting near Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. The meeting is one of three WGA is planning in relation to its negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, […]

Ex-ABC exec in as Aussie prodco targets drama

Former ABC and Nine Network exec and local industry veteran Courtney Gibson has joined Australian producer Jungle as it moves into TV drama. Gibson has been named managing director and partner with the company, which has an unnamed television drama in production and another in fully-funded development from showrunner Kristen Dunphy. She is a former […]

King Kong TV series in the works

Marvista Entertainment and IM Global Television are teaming to create a King Kong TV series. The series will be based on DeVito ArtWorks’ Skull Island property and movie producer Merian C. Cooper’s iconic King Kong film. King Kong Skull Island will be, the producers say, a comprehensive King Kong Universe endorsed by Kong’s creator. US-based […]

Hulu bags Pure Canadian drama for US SVOD

US streaming service Hulu has acquired exclusive local streaming rights to Canadian drama Pure. The deal, a first between Hulu and distributor Cineflix Rights, will see the drama premiering exclusively on the broadcaster-backed on-demand service. Pure comes from Two East Productions and CIneflix, and was originally form Canuck pubcaster CBC, where it has become the […]