Warner Bros To Sell BBC One Format ‘The Wheel’
Warner Bros International Television Production is to represent BBC One’s ambitious new entertainment show The Wheel on the global stage after striking a deal with producer Hungry McBear Media. Hosted by comedian Michael McIntyre, the show revolves around a spinning wheel of celebrity guests who help a contestant win jackpot prizes. Warner Bros will represent the format and finished tape outside of the U.S. and UK. “The Wheel is a uniquely brilliant concept that has excited us since it’s early development,” said Andrew Zein, SVP of creative format development and sales at WBITVP. The Wheel is executive produced by Dan Baldwin and Tom Blakeson.
Amazon Orders Italian ‘LOL: Last One Laughing’
Amazon Prime Video has commissioned Endemol Shine Italy to make an Italian version of its comedy entertainment show LOL: Last One Laughing. The format sees 10 comedians go head-to-head for six consecutive hours to see who can keep a straight face while simultaneously trying to make their opponents laugh. The winner will claim a €100,000 prize for their chosen charity. Hosted by Italian rapper Fedez, it is the latest international version of a format created for Amazon in Japan. It is also made in Mexico and Australia, where it is hosted by Rebel Wilson. “Experimenting with new formats requires courage and great confidence, that is why we are proud this unprecedented cast of comedians has enthusiastically embraced this challenge,” said Nicole Morganti, head of Amazon Originals, Italy.
Sony Hires Fremantle’s Jo Porter To Run Playmaker
Sony Pictures Television has poached Fremantle Australia’s scripted director Jo Porter to run its Australian production company Playmaker Media. Porter will become managing director next year, replacing David Maher and David Taylor, who stepped down earlier this year. She was an executive producer on the Foxtel and Amazon Prime limited series Picnic at Hanging Rock. Playmaker Media was founded in 2009 and became a Sony company in 2014. It makes series including Netflix’s Reckoning. Wayne Garvie, Sony’s president of international production, said: “We are so excited to have Jo lead a new era at Playmaker. She is not only one of Australia’s most admired producers, with a terrific track record, but a great person with great relationships.”
eOne Takes Global Rights To Oz Drama ‘The Newsreader’
Entertainment One has acquired the international distribution rights to The Newsreader, ABC’s Australian drama series set in a 1980s commercial TV newsroom. The six-part series has recently gone into production in Melbourne and is headlined by Anna Torv (Mindhunter) and Sam Reid (Prime Suspect 1973). It is produced by Joanna Werner (Clickbait), with Michael Lucas creating and writing the drama. “The Newsreader offers fiery drama, emotion and tension each week, populated by such beautifully written, nuanced characters and layered with sharp wit, warmth and complexity. It promises to be a stand-out show for next year,” said Noel Hedges, EVP of acquisitions at eOne.