Doctor Who Channel Leads BBC Studios, Pluto TV Carriage Deal Global Bulletin

CARRIAGE

ViacomCBS‘s free streaming television service Pluto TV has partnered with BBC Studios to add three new channels to the platform across Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and Spain.

A new Doctor Who channel in France will feature the first 10 seasons of the BBC action-adventure series that explores space and time, in addition to the series’ Christmas specials, including “Snowmen,” “Last Christmas” and “Day of The Doctor.” The Doctor Who channel on Pluto TV in Spain features the series’ first nine seasons and its Christmas specials, while Pluto TV in Germany, Switzerland and Austria now offers “Doctor Who” episodes that originally aired between 1980 and 1990, in addition to a BBC Travel channel.

In addition, Pluto TV’s new BBC Drama channel is now live on Pluto TV in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, France and Spain. The channel features dramas from the BBC Studios catalogue, including “Call The Midwife,” “War And Peace,” “Great Expectations” and “The Musketeers.”

The BBC channel launches in Europe come ahead of Pluto TV’s Italian launch, which is scheduled for Oct. 28. Pluto TV is now present in 25 countries with over 52 million global monthly active users.

DEVELOPMENT

“Jungle Cruise” star Jack Whitehall has signed an exclusive two-year deal with Banijay U.K. to develop non-scripted projects with the group. Whitehall’s production company Jackpot, partnering with companies across the U.K. group, will create and develop non scripted ideas for both linear and global platforms. The projects could see Whitehall in both on-screen and off-screen roles and include a range of non-scripted genres from blue chip documentaries to panel shows, singles and events to returning series.

The deal, effective immediately, builds on an existing relationship with the Banijay group’s producers that has resulted in hits including “Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father,” “Backchat” and “Bad Education.”

Meanwhile, Banijay Rights has acquired global distribution rights to “Janet,” Lifetime and A&E’s two-night, four-hour documentary event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Janet Jackson’s first album.

Banijay-owned U.K.-based production outfit Workerbee has been filming the documentary for five years and has been granted exclusive access to archival footage and Jackson’s never-before-seen home videos.

Executive produced by Jackson, Randy Jackson and Oscar-winner Kevin MacDonald (“Whitney”), “Janet” will air in early 2022 on A+E Networks channels Lifetime and A&E.

AWARD

British actor Malachi Kirby (“Small Axe,” “Boiling Point”) has won The British Blacklist‘s first Impact Award, an acknowledgment of the outstanding achievement an individual has made to the arts this year. Kirby, soon to be seen in Amazon Prime Video’s adaptation of “Anansi Boys,” accepted the Junior Phipps designed award from The British Blacklist founder Akua Gyamfi at the black|listed luncheon.

The luncheon, which will be an annual event, was created as a celebration of talent during the BFI London Film Festival this year. Attendees included Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Samson Kayo, Weruche Opia, Ronke Adekoluejo, Tom Moutchi, Dominic Buchanan, Afua Hirsch and Jade Anouka.

Founded in 2012, The British Blacklist is an online platform that champions Black creatives in the entertainment space and has played a key role in elevating new, young and established talent through editorial coverage, events and partnerships. In 2019 Gyamfi co-founded the S.O.U.L. Fest at the BFI, a film festival showcasing new and established black filmmakers from the U.K. and the diaspora.

APPOINTMENTS

Animation outfit Nexus Studios has hired Kim Adams as director of real-time production. Adams previously held leadership posts at Facebook’s Oculus Story Studio where she worked on the Emmy winning narrative VR project, “Wolves in the Walls” and as producer at Google’s Spotlight Stories where she produced the VR projects “Rain or Shine” with Nexus Studios and “Special Delivery” with Aardman Animations. Adams was also a producer at Pixar where she produced several shorts including content for the “Toy Story” and “Cars” franchises. More recently she co-founded the social VR startup, Adventure Lab.

Nexus is currently producing anthology series “The House” for Netflix and Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” film for Disney Plus.

Meanwhile, global distribution group Blue Ant International has appointed Maria Ibarra as VP, international sales, reporting into Solange Attwood, EVP, Blue Ant International. Based in Miami, Ibarra will be responsible for overseeing pre-sales and content licensing across U.S. Hispanic, Latin America and Iberia. She was previously with Viacom International Media Networks where she was was director of international program sales for Latin America and Canada.

Blue Ant International has also promoted Nick Solowski to senior director, international sales and acquisitions, overseeing pre-sales and licensing across Canada, Asia-Pacific and ancillary rights and Fleur Wheatley to director, international sales and acquisitions, overseeing Benelux, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Africa, Greece and Israel.

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