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NEWS & FEATURES

  • French Top Gear hits the road
    A fledgling French factual channel is set to produce a local version of BBC motoring show Top Gear.
  • SPT appoints Russia boss
    Sony Pictures Television has hired former Disney Russia executive Vadim Sokolovsky to lead its production business in the territory.
  • A&E dismounts Longmire
    US cablenet A&E has axed its most-watched scripted series, Western drama Longmire, after a run of three seasons.
  • Angry Birds CEO plans Rovio exit
    The CEO of Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish company behind the Angry Birds franchise, is stepping down to be replaced by the former boss of marketing at mobile giant Nokia.
  • TVNZ makes digital bet
    New Zealand's TVNZ plans to ramp up investment in digital media after it helped the broadcaster to record a 25% rise in annual profits.
  • M6 adapts Gogglebox in formats push
    French channel M6 is axing its primetime adventure series Pekin Express but prepping local adaptations of Long Lost Family, Gogglebox and Rising Star.
  • Discovery exec joins A Smith & Co
    US reality TV producer A Smith & Co has hired the senior director of development at Discovery Channel and former co-exec producer of Duck Dynasty as its senior VP of development.
  • Hulu ready to Party Down
    US VoD platform Hulu has acquired the exclusive streaming rights to Starz’s cult scripted comedy Party Down.
  • ABC links with Jackass’ Knoxville
    US broadcast network ABC is developing a semi-autobiographical comedy about the childhood of actor and Jackass star Johnny Knoxville.
  • UKTV hires Sky creative chief
    UK multichannel broadcaster UKTV has appointed an executive from satcaster Sky to lead its creative services team across its portfolio of 10 channels.
  • Int'l nets take Superights toons
    Broadcasters in Europe and Asia have picked up toon duo Kika & Bob and Picnic With Cake from a distributor led by the former head of children's TV at French broadcaster M6.
  • Wright exits amid Turner turmoil
    Michael Wright, president and head of programming at US networks TNT, TBS and TCM, is departing Turner Broadcasting after 12 years with the company.
  • Netflix sets $44m record with Blacklist
    US streaming service Netflix has acquired the rights to an NBC drama from Sony Pictures Television that is thought to be the most expensive SVoD series deal ever.
  • TVNorge installs comedy director
    Norwegian net TVNorge has vowed to take comedy “seriously” after upping Rasmus Gjertsen Eye to the newly-created role of comedy manager.
  • Oz publisher takes Quickflix stake
    Australian publisher and radio broadcaster Fairfax Media has taken a stake in subscription VoD and DVD rental service Quickflix.
  • Reed launches Mip Cancun
    Reed Midem, the organiser of international TV events MipTV and MipCom, has revealed plans to launch a new regional buyers’ summit targeting the Latin American market.
  • HBO takes UK robot drama
    HBO Latin America has pre-bought a forthcoming CBBC series penned by the writer of popular children's show Tracy Beaker Returns.
  • Playing it safe
    With French TV networks coming under fire for failing to take risks with drama, what impact will Netflix’s imminent arrival have in an increasingly tough market? Andrew Dickens reports.
  • eOne acquires Force Four
    Entertainment One has acquired fellow Canuck producer Force Four Entertainment, the Vancouver-based prodco behind Border Security and Seed.
  • Joiz of interaction
    Alexander Mazzara, founder of Swiss youth channel Joiz, tells Clive Whittingham about the tricks and challenges of marrying the first and second screens, and the threat this presents to linear broadcasters.
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EDITOR'S CHOICE

  • Playing it safe With French TV networks coming under fire for failing to take risks with drama, what impact will Netflix’s imminent arrival have in an increasingly tough market? Andrew Dickens reports.
  • Joiz of interaction Alexander Mazzara, founder of Swiss youth channel Joiz, tells Clive Whittingham about the tricks and challenges of marrying the first and second screens, and the threat this presents to linear broadcasters.
  • OTT: Blessing or burden? Stella Medlicott, chief marketing officer at Red Bee Media, fears that the proliferation of increasingly homogeneous over-the-top TV services may not be good for consumers or the industry.
  • Amazon exploration Amazon Studios, currently preparing a new batch of pilots with big-name European producers attached, is building up a library of original kids’ content. Nico Franks reports.
  • In touch with reality Reality television pioneer John de Mol is looking to breathe new life into the genre with his twist on the social experiment. John Hazelton reports.
  • Centre stage International producers are flocking to the UK to shoot big-budget projects thanks to new tax breaks. But how is this impacting the country’s studios? Andrew Dickens reports.
  • Buying into social selling Entertainment retail has long been ripe for reinvention and now the studios are finally stepping up and having a go, says Gideon Lask, CEO and Founder of Buyapowa.
  • Jam today As more digital players than ever get set to attend Cartoon Forum in France next month, John Rice of Irish animation studio Jam Media gives his views on increasing revenues from VoD and app development.
  • The History girl Rachel Job, channel editor for History & H2 at A+E Networks UK, outlines her commissioning and acquisition strategy and budgets to Clive Whittingham.
  • Reasons to be cheerful Thomas Meyer-Hermann, founder of Stuttgart animation studio Film Bilder, discusses how changes in German TV have affected his business, including an increase in VoD players coming on to the scene.