BBC Studios Builds Team In Western Europe
BBC Studios has made a series of hires and promotions in Western Europe. Bram Husken joins from Paramount Global and takes up the newly-created role of Vice President, Benelux, responsible for P&L across the region. He will be based out of Amsterdam and report to Arran Tindall, Chief Commercial Officer, EVP, EMEA Key Markets. Also in Amsterdam is Hale Mouritz, who has been promoted to another newly-created position, Director of Programming, Western Europe. Meanwhile, Andrea Raman has been upped to Business Development Director, Nordic, MENA, Turkey. Responsibilities held previously by Simon Cottle, VP Affiliate Sales Western Europe, who is set to retire this year, will be split regionally between Husken and Raman. “Harnessing their expertise will enable us to unlock new business opportunities and achieve our growth ambitions in the regions,” said Tindall of the moves.
ZDF Studios Behind UK Whodunnit Drama
Germany’s ZDF Studios has teamed with London indie Sly Fox Productions to create British whodunnit series The Pet Sitter Mysteries. The series is in development with writer and creator Julian Unthank leading. The eight-part series will be set in England’s upmarket Sandbanks on the south coast. Home to the mega rich, designer houses and yachts captained by loutish lottery winners and reclusive billionaires, the Sandbanks of the series is “crammed full of glamorous, suntanned, excessively wealthy eccentrics” and Dixie Hemingway, a professional pet-sitter and former policewoman. Attempting to rebuild her life, she can’t help but get involved with the investigation when a body is discovered at the mansion of one of her clients. Unthank is the creator of Emmy-nominated Queens of Mystery, spent five seasons on ITV’s Doc Martin and wrote Love at First Sight, starring John Hurt. ZDF Studios has international sales rights to The Pet Sitter Mysteries. No network or streamer is yet attached.
CJ ENM‘s First Mandarin Series Remake
Korea’s CJ ENM has been pushing into Mandarin-language content and filming has begun on its first attempt in that market. The company’s Hong Kong-based subsidiary, CJ ENM HK, is remaking Korean drama series Top Star U Back as Breeze by the Sea and shooting began on October 27 in the coastal town of Kinmen Island, China, with a commencement ceremony. Helmed by director Peter Ho and with a budget of $3M, the 12-episode drama stars an ensemble of Taiwanese actors including Bolin Chen, Puff Kuo, Charles Lin, Tuo Tsung-hu and, Ma Nian-Hsien; veteran Singaporean actress Fann Wong, Golden Horse Best Actress nominee Hong Hui Fang and Hong Kong’s Cecilia Choi. Plot follows Yin (Chen), a narcissistic star who finds himself exiled to Kinmen after a scandal, where he meets Hainuo (Kuo), a lovable B&B owner. As he adjusts to his new surroundings and encounters the warm-hearted people of the town, Yinmo rediscovers his true self and learns how to form genuine connections. The show is a collaboration between CJ ENM HK, Central Motion Picture Corporation and Deepwaters Digital Support Inc. The original Korean series launched in Korea and worldwide in 2018.