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ITV Gets on Harry and Meghan Bandwagon, Orders ‘Invitation to a Royal Wedding’ (EXCLUSIVE)

ITV will send an “Invitation to a Royal Wedding” to British viewers ahead of the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a one-off documentary about the hugely anticipated nuptials at Windsor Castle in May. Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster has commissioned the program from Oxford Films, which made the successful ITV and HBO Princess Diana documentary “Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy” that featured rare interviews with princes William and Harry.The wedding of British royal Harry to American actress Markle has sent U.K. tabloids...

Putin doc added to Drive slate

Drive, the London-based production funding and distribution business, has added a host of factual titles from UK producers to its sales slate ahead of MipTV next month.Shows from Oxford Films, October Films, Ad Hoc Films and Bedlam have been added to the catalogue at Drive, which was set up by Lilla Hurst and Ben Barrett in 2014 and moved into distribution in 2016.Hurst and Barrett have added topical doc Putin: The New Tsar (1×60’) from Oxford Films, which focuses on Russian president Vladimir Putin’s rise...

C21 feature: Digging up funds

Coproductions are increasingly common in factual series, forcing producers to become deal makers and accountants. Clive Whittingham explores clever deals and how they affect the creative process.   Coproductions, long the standard in scripted, once accounted for only a fraction of factual projects. Feature docs with a public service broadcaster attached looking for another 80% of their budget at IDFA Forum, for instance. Or The Plane Crash from the UK’s Channel 4, a one-off special that the network’s then chief creative officer Jay Hunt described as “the...

C21: Drive revs up int’l factual sales

US cablenet Smithsonian Channel and Australian pubcaster SBS are among the broadcasters to have acquired factual programming from UK production-funding and distribution outfit Drive.   Eight Days that Made Rome (8×60’) has been picked up by Smithsonian for North America, SBS TV for Australia and Viasat World for Scandinavia and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).   The series, a coproduction between October Films and Krempelwood for Channel 5 in the UK, explores eight days that defined Rome’s history, presented by historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes.   Discovery Italy has bought the...

Strength in numbers

Arriving back home to a reassuringly grey (thankfully no longer red) London sky after three days of perfect sunshine in Cannes, it’s always a good time to take a step back and try and digest what was new at the market. And think about how that may impact not just on our business, but the wider industry in the months and years to come.   Much of the initial buzz at this year’s Mipcom was about the ever-increasing presence of major digital players, with keynotes from both...

C21 feature: Breaking away

Brexit struck TV-land like a bolt from the blue but the UK industry has since developed a clearer idea of what it wants from the negotiations – and a strategy to get it. Richard Middleton reports.   When the Brexit bell finally tolled last June after months of divisive campaigning in the UK it caused consternation for much of the business world, television included.   Suddenly the status quo in the UK’s TV industry was thrown into disarray. How could European executives and talent be smuggled in once the...