BBC Studios Partners With ‘Repair Shop’ Star Jay Blades & Hungry Bear; Film Bridge ‘Smyrna’ Sales (Exclusive); ‘Love Me’ Buyers; BBC North East; Fukushima Doc – Global Briefs

BBC Studios Partners With ‘Repair Shop’ Star Jay Blades & Hungry Bear

BBC Studios has struck a first-look development deal with Hungry Jay Media, the JV between Repair Shop breakout Jay Blades and Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel producer Hungry Bear. The one-year deal will give BBC Studios priority access to Hungry Jay’s slate, focusing on factual entertainment formats for the UK market that can travel. Hungry Jay launched in 2020 and has since been behind BBC One doc Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51 and Paramount-owned Channel 5’s Jay Blades: There’s No Place Like Home. Blades broke out helming BBC One’s hugely-popular The Repair Shop, which started life as a small daytime format before graduating to primetime and amassing millions of viewers each week. Hungry Bear, meanwhile, has produced some of the UK’s biggest entertainment hits of the past years including Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel and Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad. “Hungry Jay combines one of the most credible and authentic presenters currently on television with a brilliant team of creatives that deliver much-loved, hit shows,” said Emma Hardie, BBC Studios Commercial Director, International Production and Formats.

Film Bridge International Launches Sales On ‘Smyrna’

EXCLUSIVE: Film Bridge International has launched world sales on 2021 period movie Smyrna about the catastrophic fire and human rights abuses which scarred the Turkish city 100 years ago at the end of the Greco-Turkish war. Produced by Tanweer Productions and directed by Greek filmmaker Grigoris Karantinakis, the film was written by Mimi Denissi, in collaboration with Martin Sherman, and it stars Rupert Graves, Mimi Denissi and Leonidas Kakouris. Based on the stage-play by Denissi, the feature was a big-budget local production and performed very well at the local box office. Pic was produced by Dionyssis Samiotis of Tanweer Productions. Joseph Samaan and Denissi served as executive producers. “At Tanweer Productions, we believe in the culture of watching movies on the big screen, sharing emotional and exciting moments with each other. Nothing could replace this immersive and magical experience. We are committed to produce remarkable Greek films and series, that speak to the heart of the audience,” said Samiotis.

Viaplay, Acorn TV & Others Buy Australian Romantic Drama ‘Love Me’

Streamers Viaplay and Acorn TV are among the buyers of Hugo Weaving-starring Australian romantic drama series Love Me. The Melbourne-set series, originally from Warner Bros. International Television Australia Production for the Foxtel Group and adapted from Viaplay original Alska Mig, looks at how love can appear at the most inconvenient of times, following a father and two children who find themselves at an emotional crossroads after the unexpected death of their mother. Weaving (The Lord of the RingsThe Matrix), Bojana Novakovic (Birds of Prey) and William Lodder (Wakefield) are among the cast. Viaplay takes rights for Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Netherlands and Acorn TV for the UK, Spain, Portugal and India. CBC (Canada), Hot and Yes-DBS (Israel) and Eastern European streamer Pickbox also struck deals. In the U.S., Hulu recently debuted all episodes.

BBC Finds North East Factual Breakout & ‘Bradford On Duty’

The BBC has completed an extensive search for a new factual series from The North East of England by greenlighting Robson Green’s Dirty Weekends (working title), a daytime show in which the host celebrates everything good about the region with some of his famous friends. The show forms part of the BBC’s commitment to produce more programs and better represent places outside of London, paired with a commitment to spend £25M ($31.3M) in the North East over the next five years. Thee 15-parter was commissioned by Helen Munson, the BBC’s first daytime commissioner based in the North East, and is being produced by local indies Rivers Meet Productions and Signpost Productions. “There is so much talent here in the North East, both on and off screen and this series will absolutely reflect that,” said Munson. Meanwhile, the BBC has ordered Bradford on Duty, a show following the West Yorkshire city’s district nurses, police officers and council workers. From the difficulties in tackling rough sleeping, to the shocking health inequalities, viewers will hear accounts from those who are tasked with the challenge of helping to relieve the pressure on the young city’s public services.

Global Buyers Acquire Fukushima Doc

Discovery U.S., Discovery SEA, TG4 (Ireland), UKTV and Australia’s SBS have picked up one-off doc Fukushima: Nature in the Danger Zone from distributor Woodcut International. The one-off tells of the 15-metre tsunami that broke in 2011 and caused the second biggest nuclear accident to affect our planet, as all three cores of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors exploded. Woodcut International Commercial Director Koulla Anastasi described the wealth of buyers as “high-profile broadcasters” and said more sales announcements are incoming over the coming months.

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