Sky Studios names YouTube EMEA chief Cécile Frot-Coutaz as CEO

European media giant Sky has appointed the head of YouTube in EMEA and former Fremantle chief Cécile Frot-Coutaz as CEO of Sky Studios. Frot-Coutaz, who replaces current CEO Gary Davey, will oversee the funding, development, production and commissioning teams for scripted Sky originals and take charge of Sky Studios’ global portfolio of production companies. These […]

Fremantle hires Storyville’s Mandy Chang as global docs boss

Fremantle has hired Mandy Chang, head of the BBC’s famed factual strand Storyville, as its global head of documentaries. Chang joined the BBC from Australia’s ABC in 2017 following the exit of Storyville’s former chief Nick Fraser, who launched SVOD Yaddo (now owned by Lightning International), and Netflix-bound Kate Townsend. She has been behind docs […]

TBI Tech & Analysis: Running the numbers on global formats

TBI’s deputy editor Mark Layton dives into K7 Media’s annual format report to uncover the most in-demand genres over the past year and explores the option-grabbing IP that points to where the trend is going next. The past 12 months have seen a rising demand for tried-and-tested unscripted content, with the global pandemic having brought scripted […]

BBC reboots gameshow ‘Blankety Blank’ after 20-year hiatus

The BBC in the UK is rebooting veteran gameshow Blankety Blank by ordering a 10-part run. The format, which sees a panel of celebrities helping contestants by filling in missing blanks, will return to Saturday nights on BBC One for following a Christmas special that aired in 2020. The 10 x 35-minute show is being […]

ABC Oz orders surfing drama from Fremantle

ABC in Australia has ordered a drama backed by Fremantle that explores the hedonistic world of surfing in the 1970s and the cutthroat culture of big business. Barons follows a group of brave but crazy 20-something friends as they attempt to find the perfect wave, but in the end create billion dollar companies. It is being […]

Germany’s UFA unveils docs arm as parent Fremantle extends factual push

German production house UFA is launching a new documentary division, as part of parent Fremantle’s strategy to expand its global factual offering. UFA Documentary will focus on creating docs, hybrid-docs and serialised features, with the new unit to be led by CEOs Gwendolin Szyszkowitz-Schwingel and Marc Lepetit. Szyszkowitz-Schwingel joined UFA last week having previously held roles […]

Fremantle’s Roast Beef preps Nazi hunter doc

UK factual indie Roast Beef Productions is producing a feature-length documentary about a married couple who have spent decades tracking down Nazi war criminals. Romanian director Alexander Nanau (Collective) is executive producing the project, titled Klarsfeld, with Mike Lerner and Martin Herring (Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer) attached to direct. Beate and Serge Klarsfeld have […]

TBI Weekly: How the future of markets is shaping up

As Digital MIPTV draws to a close, TBI talks to a variety of distributors to reflect on how the annual cycle of markets might look in the future. At the start of 2020, the proliferation of markets, conferences and large-scale networking events had reached a new high. For those working in – or indeed writing […]

Fremantle takes full control of Israeli ‘Shtisel’ prodco Abot Hameiri

European production giant Fremantle has taken full ownership of Israeli prodco Abot Hameiri. Founded in 2006 and headed by Eitan Abot and Guy Hameiri, the Tel Aviv-based outfit is behind programmes across scripted, entertainment and reality. Fremantle had acquired a 51% stake of the company in 2016 and has now increased that to 100% to […]

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