Banijay Rights, the leading distribution arm of Banijay Group, through its co-development deal with UK indie Touchdown Films, has developed a new celebrity biography series ARTIST TO ICON in partnership with leading US arts network Ovation. Celebrities in the 10 x 60’ documentary series, which mixes rich and extensive archive with insider interviews, include Madonna, Robin Williams and Cher among others.
Ovation will retain distribution rights in the Americas and Banijay Rights in rest of the world.
Currently in production ARTIST TO ICON will be available for delivery later this year and will complement Ovation as the new home of popular long-running series Inside the Actors Studio.
The project is one of the first to flourish through Banijay Rights’ co-development deal with factual specialist Touchdown Films which has been renewed for a further term. The two companies are working together to develop and produce returnable factual series in the history, crime and celebrity genres for platforms and networks around the world. Touchdown Films was founded by filmmaker and producer John Osborne, with recent projects including Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed The World and Photos That Changed The World, which is due to air on History in the UK next month.
Banijay Rights recently announced sales of Touchdown Films’ Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed the World to National Geographic Channel, Discovery Networks, Bell Media, VRT, RUV-Icelandic State Broadcasting and Discovery Corporate Services Ltd.
Scott Woodward, EVP of Programming and Production at Ovation stated, “We’re pleased to be working yet again with Banijay Rights, and now with Touchdown Films. As an arts network, we’re always looking for dynamic and creatively-inclined projects and Artist to Icon is no exception. Charting the rise of some of the world’s greatest artists – actors, musicians and more – is a perfect fit for Ovation.”
John Osborne, founder of Touchdown Films said, “Very few people become a global star, and fewer still achieve iconic status. In this new series, we will reveal some of the most extraordinary rises to fame the world has ever seen, exploring the crucial moments that accelerated their transition from Artist to Icon. We’re thrilled to be working alongside Banijay Rights on this exciting new series for Ovation.”
Andreas Lemos, Commercial Director – Factual, at Banijay Rights added, “This innovative model means we do not have to wait for a fully-fledged commission to get a project greenlit. Via our deal with Touchdown we have developed the series together with a leading US broadcaster, enabling it to come to fruition via a co-production arrangement. Banijay Rights has a long-standing and close relationship with Ovation and we are delighted to be working with them on this exceptional series.”