Tag Archive: US

  1. EPIX® Renews Drama Series Domina for Season Two

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    Premium network EPIX® announced today that the historical drama Domina will return for an eight-episode second season. The series will be produced by Tiger Aspect, in association with EPIX Studios, following an agreement with leading global distributor Banijay Rights.

    The epic, sweeping drama series takes place during one of the most provocative periods in Roman history, following the extraordinary rise of Gaius, Emperor Augustus Caesar’s third wife, Livia Drusilla, played by Kasia Smutniak (Perfetti Sconosciuti, Loro, Devils).  Domina is scheduled to begin production this spring at the historic Cinecittà Studios in Rome and is scheduled to premiere on EPIX in 2023, with the second season also returning to Sky across Europe in 2023.

    Domina season two chronicles the struggle for control of the Roman Empire, and of Rome’s Imperial Family from a rare female perspective.  In its first season, Livia Drusilla, the golden girl of the prominent Claudii family returned to Rome after ten years in exile, determined to regain everything that was stolen from her.  Now, atop a fractious empire, and a dysfunctional dynasty, she must fight to preserve her marriage to Gaius and find a way to seat one of her sons on the throne as new and old rivals jockey for position in a world where it’s impossible to know who to trust.

    “The first season of Domina drove the largest total cross-platform audience average for any EPIX freshman series in 2021,” said EPIX President Michael Wright. “Audiences were drawn to the fresh vantage point of a period drama with a female-dominated perspective featuring a powerful performance by Kasia Smutniak who leads a strong ensemble cast. Season two promises viewers an even more compelling and exciting ride from Creator Simon Burke and Executive Producers Lucy Bedford, Muirinn Lane Kelly and Carmel Maloney.”

    Matt Creasey, EVP Sales, Co-productions and Acquisitions, Banijay Rights, added, “Domina is an epic historical drama that portrays a different side of Ancient Rome – one that charts the rise of one of the most powerful women of the time. We’re delighted that Simon Burke’s powerful Roman family saga will return for a second season on EPIX with an ensemble cast and even more riveting plot line.”

    Lucy Bedford, Head of Drama, Tiger Aspect and Executive Producer said; “We’re thrilled to be partnering with EPIX to return the extraordinary DOMINA to our screens. Season two will plunge us back into the intrigue and corruption of ancient Rome, as the indomitable Livia Drusilla fights to maintain her position in a world in which the quest for power is pursued at any cost.  This time Livia’s hands will get very dirty, and the price will be higher than even she can imagine.”

    Smutniak leads an international ensemble cast featuring Matthew McNulty (Misfits) as Gaius, Emperor Augustus; Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black) as Octavia, Gaius’ sister; Christine Bottomley (The End of the F***ing World) as Scribonia, Gaius’ second wife and Livia’s mortal enemy; Ben Batt (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Agrippa, Gaius’ childhood friend, then general and later consul.

    The series is created by Simon Burke (Fortitude, Strike Back), with Burke, Lucy Bedford, Muirinn Lane Kelly and Carmel Maloney as executive producers. EPIX has the U.S. rights, with the second season returning to Sky across Europe in 2023. Banijay Rights is the worldwide distributor.

  2. Banijay Rights Secures Nordic Scripted Deal With NENT Group’s Viaplay in US

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    Banijay Rights today announces it has signed a comprehensive package deal for more than a dozen of its premium scripted titles with Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), ahead of the launch of its Viaplay streaming service in the US in late 2021.

    The agreement will give Viaplay subscribers in the US access to more than 250 hours of Banijay Rights’ critically acclaimed Nordic drama titles, including Norwegian culture-clash comedy Countrymen, which won the High School Best Series Prize and Special Interpretation Award for Cast at Canneseries last month.

    The extensive scripted deal was brokered by Matt Creasey for Banijay Rights.

    Matt Creasey, EVP Sales, Acquisitions and Coproductions – World (excluding EMEA), Banijay Rights, said: “Our catalogue contains a stunning range of premium stand-out Nordic titles including Norwegian sensation Countrymen and Swedish drama A Class Apart, and we are thrilled to be working with NENT Group to ensure this package deal will become a cornerstone of Viaplay’s launch in the US.”

    Countrymen (8 x 60’) sees four men with dubious plans move to a farm in the rural Norwegian countryside where, more or less against their will, they end up as the founders of Norway’s first halal cheesemaking business. Countrymen is a production from Banijay Norwegian label Rubicon for public broadcaster NRK in coproduction with Arte France.

    The deal also includes A Class Apart (8 x 60’), a drama series from Banijay Swedish label Jarowskij. The series is set at Sweden’s top ranked boarding high school which is home to a secret society for the most affluent students, the Zebra Club. On the night of the new semester, the selected few indulge in the hazing of two new members. The following morning, one of them is found dead.

    Both A Class Apart and Countrymen will be premieres in the North American market.

     Among the other titles from the Banijay Rights catalogue included in the agreement with NENT Group are two seasons of Jarowskij thriller Black Lake (16 x 60’) and Dystopia (8 x 60’); seasons one to five of crime drama Gåsmamman (42 x 60’), from Banijay Nordics; the first two seasons of Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans (20 x 60’), from Matador Film and SVT; seasons one to six of Jarowskij TV4 series Solsidan (60 x 30’); The Councilman (10 x 30’) from Rubicon; and seasons one to nine of The Sandhamn Murders (15 x 60’ and 4 x 120’), produced by Filmlance International in coproduction  with TV4, C More, ZDF, ZDF Enterprises with Endemol Shine International, TV2 Norge, DR and YLE.

    In the US, Viaplay will also show the first two seasons of Swedish crime sensation Wallander (26 x 90’) from Banijay label Yellow Bird; and seasons one and two of Wallander UK (6 x 90’), which Yellow Bird coproduced along with Left Bank Pictures, TKBC with Masterpiece, TV4, Film i Skåne and the Copenhagen Film Fund. High-end crime drama Wisting (10 x 60’), from Cinenord and Good Company Films in coproduction with Viaplay, Degeto Film, TV3 Norway and Ripple World Pictures, also forms part of the NENT Group deal, as well as the first two seasons of The Third Eye (20 x 60’), from Banijay Nordics, and Yellow Bird’s The Truth Will Out (8 x 60’).

  3. Banijay Rights Sells Four-Part Fifty Fathoms Drama ‘ADULT MATERIAL’ to US Streaming Platform HBO Max

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    Banijay Rights, the leading distribution arm of Banijay,  today announces WarnerMedia streaming platform, HBO Max, has acquired 4 x 60’ drama series, Adult Material, in a deal negotiated by Matt Creasey, Banijay Rights’ newly appointed EVP, Sales, Co-Productions and Acquisitions Rest of World. The series was originally produced by Fifty Fathoms for Channel 4.

    Matt Creasey comments: “We are thrilled Adult Material has been secured for HBO Max.  This outstanding drama is storytelling at its finest with exceptional performances all-round.   To secure this deal before the UK series has finished airing is a testament to the excellence of this programme.”

    Hayley Squires (Collateral, The Miniaturist, I, Daniel Blake), plays leading British pornstar Jolene Dollar in Lucy Kirkwood’s (The Smoke) new drama, Adult Material.  Juggling glamour on-camera and the reality of motherhood at home, Jolene is a poster girl for the industry. Through her eyes we see a world that isn’t defined by exploitation, but by opportunity for working class women. The hours are good, and the money is great, if you can lie back and think of England, and don’t mind the looks you get at the school gates.

    But the internet has midwifed a revolution in porn. Producers like Jolene’s old friend and colleague Carroll (Rupert Everett; Another Country, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Happy Prince) are forced to push boundaries further than ever before, in search of the erotic, the bizarre, the funny, the disturbing, and above all: the new. In short, something you can get the punters to pay for when everyone wants it for free.

    Adult Material is a story that asks vital and serious questions about sex in the age of the internet, the blurring of fantasy and reality, and economic choices for women. But with the irresistible Jolene Dollar at its heart, it is above all a hugely entertaining, moving, outrageous, and human debate about one woman’s journey away from porn, and towards sex.  The series is directed by Dawn Shadforth and written by Lucy Kirkwood, who is also an executive producer along with Patrick Spence.  Producers are Patrick Spence and Sara Hamill.

    Adult Material, produced by Banijay’s Fifty Fathoms, launched on Channel 4 on Monday 5th October and will stream on HBO Max this December.

  4. Banijay Rights Brings Hit Format DON’T to Mexico

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    Following the successful launchof DON’T in the U.S., Banijay Rights is bringing its hit comedic game show format to Mexico, teaming up with TV Azteca and EndemolShine Boomdog. The local adaption is set to start production this week.

     

    Locally known as Don’t: No lo Hagas, the Mexican series will be hosted by presenter and comedian, Adal Ramones, and is expected to launch in September on national broadcaster, Azteca Uno.

     

    Don’tis a physical comedy game show where families can win money by following one simple rule: Don’t do it. The show tests contestants through spectacular and impressive physical games, where the key is to overcome their instincts; it’s the ultimate test of mind, body and family bonds.

     

    A recent hit in the US for ABC Networks, the family-friendly format launched as the #1 show of the night on network television, won its slot for 18-49s and 25-54s.The 8 x 60’ series was produced by Banijay Studios North America, executive produced by Hollywood superstar, Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), and hosted by Adam Scott (Parks And Rec, Big Little Lies).

     

    Elliott Chalkely, Vice President of Sales at Banijay Rights comments, “The fun-loving mischievous tone of Don’t is just the tonic international audiences need right now. We at Banijay Rights are very excited to see the first international adaptation go into production in Mexico with Endemol Shine Boomdog, for Azteca – a highly-esteemed partner of ours.”

     

    “Being able to offer audiences quality content and entertaining international formats produced in Mexico is a top priority for TV Azteca and Don’t  is a clear example of this,” adds Alberto Ciurana, General Director of Contents and Distribution of TV Azteca.

     

    “We are thrilled to partner with the team at TV Azteca and our new colleagues at Banijay Rights to bring Don’t to Mexico,” says Endemol Shine Boomdog CEO Alejandro Rincon. “This is such a fun concept and with the great Adal Ramones as our host, we believewe’ll be able to deliver something special to the Mexican audience.”

  5. Banijay Rights Sells We Got This To Sundance Now

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    Banijay Rights, the leading distribution arm of Banijay Group, today announces idiosyncratic crime thriller, We Got This, has been picked up by AMC Networks in the US, Canada and UK, for its streaming service Sundance Now.

     

    The 6 x 45’ scripted series, due to air this autumn, sees George English, an American living in Sweden, try to solve his financial woes with an unlikely solution – a 50 million Swedish Crown reward for solving the 30-year-old murder of the former prime minister, Olof Palme. English, played by Schiaffino Musarra, is grieving from the recent death of his father, and is then hit by the collapse of his career, when he receives an unsurmountable tax bill. Naturally, he begins to imagine that cracking the Palme case could be the simple answer to all his problems.

     

    Together with his closest friend, a not-so-intrepid journalist, who wants nothing to do with the case, a whacky conspiracy theorist and a former police officer, they follow the case into a web of twisted theories. After a major discovery, George finds himself on a head-on collision course with history, as their investigation goes from a laughing stock to a very real and closely-watched operation by the media, politicians, titans of industry and organisations that stretch far beyond the Swedish borders that, for a variety of reasons, would rather this case remain forever unsolved.

     

    Winner of the Series Mania 2018 co-pitch, We Got This is produced by Banijay Group’s Jarowskij and Film I Väst for public broadcaster SVT and Viaplay. Besides playing the lead role, Schiaffino Musarra is also the series creator and head writer. The drama finished airing in Sweden just days ahead of the announcement by the Chief Prosecutor, despite no new evidence, to close the Palme murder investigation, which had remained open since 1986.

     

    Sundance Now will feature its US and Canadian premiere in September 2020 with its UK date to-be-determined.

     

    Andreas Lemos, VP of Sales – North America, Banijay Rights comments,“We are thrilled to have a prestigious partner like Sundance Now on board for We Got This. North American and UK audiences will soon be able to enjoy this entertaining dark comedy born out of the unique mind of star and creator Musarra but built around the true-life mystery surrounding the assassination of Swedish PM Olof Palme.”

     

    Shannon Cooper, VP of Programming, Sundance Now, adds, “Sundance Now subscribers love to stream stories based on true crimes so this fascinating and funny approach to a real event makes for an extremely enjoyable series. We’re excited to partner with our friends at Banijay Rights to bring this true-life mystery to viewers in the US and UK.”

     

    Streaming service Sundance Now offers a rich selection of original and exclusive series from engrossing true crime to heart-stopping dramas, and fiercely intelligent thrillers from around the world; all streaming commercial-free.

     

  6. Yellow Bird U.S. Locks Rights for Krystal Sutherland’s A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

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    Yellow Bird U.S., a Banijay Group company, today confirms it has optioned the rights for A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, the second title from Krystal Sutherland. The planned TV series adaptation will follow the novel’s humorous and moving story about finding the courage to face our deepest fears.

     

    17-year old Esther Solar believes everyone in her family has been cursed with a Great Fear: a debilitating phobia that will ultimately kill them. Her father is agoraphobic, her mother is obsessed with avoiding bad luck, and her brother is petrified of the dark. As for Esther, she is yet to discover hers, and is determined to try and avoid it by carefully cataloguing every possibility in the eponymous “semi-definitive list”. However, her plan is soon upturned when her childhood crush, Jonah, discovers the list, uncovering her secret and convincing her to tackle each and every fear, including the one she was yet to consider… love.

     

    Krystal Sutherland comments: “I am so thrilled that Esther’s story has found its home at Yellow Bird. From the moment I first spoke with Marianne and the team, I was struck by how deeply they understood the characters and the story. I can’t wait to watch them bring it to life on screen.”

     

    Marianne Gray, Executive Producer, Yellow Bird U.S. comments: “I was immediately so impressed by how insightful the writing is. Krystal has an incredible voice and a rare ability to explore difficult themes, including mental health and generational trauma, with heart, humor and hope.”

     

    A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is being developed and produced by Yellow Bird U.S., with Marianne Gray and Gil Goldschein executive producing. Launched in 2018 as a joint venture between Yellow Bird Sweden and Bunim/Murray Productions, Yellow Bird U.S. is focused on developing premium, character-driven dramas for the U.S. market. Since its introduction, the business has optioned bestselling novel, The 7 Keys, from Swedish internet security expert, Åsa Schwartz, and I Found You, from Lisa Jewell.

     

    Sutherland’s first novel, Our Chemical Hearts, is also currently being adapted as a feature – she is repped by UTA and Yellow Bird U.S. by WME.

     

  7. Nickelodeon Greenlights The Crystal Maze, All-New Version Of UK Hit Game Show

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    Nickelodeon is bringing the legendary UK hit game show The Crystal Maze to the U.S. in an all-new version, co-produced by Bunim/Murray Productions (The Real World, The Challenge, Born This Way) and RDF Television (Secret Life of 4 Year Olds, Wife Swap, Shipwrecked), all under the Banijay Group. A longtime staple of British pop culture and family entertainment, The Crystal Maze–considered the forerunner to the current escape room craze–is a competitive challenge featuring a family team who must utilize physical and mental skills to successfully navigate an elaborate labyrinth of four giant and immersive themed zones.

     

    Casting is underway on the new series (10 one-hour episodes) which begins production on the original set in Bristol, England, this summer.  The show’s host, who guides the family through each challenge and adventure, and the series premiere, will be announced at a later date.

     

    “As Nickelodeon embraces co-viewing opportunities for every member of the family, The Crystal Maze brings a new type of action game and storytelling to audiences with its escape room-style gameplay and emphasis on collaboration and teamwork to win,” said Rob Bagshaw, Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon Unscripted Content.

     

    The Crystal Maze has long served as a staple of the UK entertainment landscape and we could not be happier to be reinventing the show for a younger demo alongside our sister companies, RDF and Stephen David Entertainment. Acting as the first series for BMP’s Kids and Family Division, the show will  build on our reputation in the competitive game space and we’ve no doubt by partnering with Nickelodeon, we can build a new audience for this brand in the U.S.,” said Gil Goldschein, Chief Executive Officer, Bunim/Murray Productions.

     

    Nickelodeon’s version of The Crystal Maze will feature a team of family members tackling a range of challenges in zones collectively known as The Crystal Maze. Each successful game is rewarded with a ‘time crystal’ that equals five seconds in the centerpiece Crystal Dome. The adventure culminates in a spectacular finale, as the team enters the Dome to grab a cash prize as it flies around them during a dramatic clock countdown.

     

    A current ratings smash in the UK, The Crystal Maze has been a beloved family and cult favorite since the mid ‘90s, with the current global popularity of the escape room phenomena reigniting interest further. The show was recently rebooted to great success with celebrity, charity and family seasons in UK, Australia and beyond.

     

    The Crystal Maze is executive produced by Gil Goldschein and Maria Pepin from Bunim/Murray Productions, Neale Simpson from Fizz, part of RDF Television, and Stephen David from Stephen David Entertainment. Production of The Crystal Maze for Nickelodeon is overseen by Rob Bagshaw, Executive Vice President, Unscripted Content.