String of deals closed Down Under for award-winning UK factual content
Orange Smarty, the Brighton-based independent distribution company that specialises in multiplatform factual content, has closed a string of deals with broadcasters in Australia and New Zealand, including Foxtel, SBS, TVNZ and SKY and Prime New Zealand. Australian commercial channel Foxtel has licensed a 200-hour documentary package from the five-year-old distributor, headlined by CTVC’s highly acclaimed Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago (3 x 45 mins) for BBC Two. Foxtel has also bought the recently announced follow-up series, Pilgrimage: The Road To Rome (3 x 45 mins), which rolls out on BBC Two later this year. In the three-part travelogue series, seven famous faces of varying faiths and beliefs set out to follow the well-trodden medieval pilgrimage routes, living as simple modern pilgrims.
The Foxtel package also includes series one and two of Coast vs Country (30 x 47 mins and 40 x 47 mins), produced by Freeform Productions for Channel 4. In each episode, house hunters are shown three coastal and three countryside properties and asked to choose between rolling hills and pretty villages, and stunning coastlines and seaside culture. Also headed for Foxtel is BAFTA and RTS-winning series Catching A Killer (4 x 90 mins), produced by True Vision Productions for Channel 4 UK. The Thames Valley Police granted the award-winning documentary company unprecedented access to its Major Crimes Unit over a two-year period. The result is a powerful four-part series that takes viewers beyond the blue flashing lights into a world of complex partnerships and long hours of detailed work.
Lastly, Foxtel has acquired the 11thand most recent series of channel stalwart A Place In The Sun (90 x 48 mins), as well as relicensing series one, two, three, six and seven. Another Freeform Production for Channel 4, the evergreen property-search format follows a team of real-estate experts as they help house-hunters to find their dream holiday home.
SBS in Australia, meanwhile, has taken three 44-minute specials from the award-winning Stacey Dooley Investigates strand: Gypsy Kids in Crisis, Sex in Strange Places and The Young & Homeless. All three specials were produced for youth-skewed online channel BBC Three.
Prime has also acquired both series of Pilgrimage, along with the first two seasons of Curve Media Productions’ Call The Cleaners (12 x 30 mins) which will also broadcast on SKY’s VIBE Channel. Ordered by ITV, the show follows a team of extreme cleaners as they tackle the UK’s grimiest homes and grimiest crime scenes. SKY has also acquired three shows from ITN Productions for VIBE: Channel 4’s The Truth About Slim People(1 x 52 mins) and four-part follow-up The Secret Lives of Slim People (4 x 30 mins), and Channel 5’s Xmas Excess; Parents Splash The Cash(1 x 45 mins). The last looks at the present-buying extremes to which some parents go — and asks the question: when it comes to Christmas gifts, how much is too much? Also included in the VIBE package are two seasons of A Place In The Sun. Viewers in New Zealand will also be enjoying Freeform’s Coast vs Country (30 x 47 mins and 40 x 47 mins) after TVNZ has acquired the first two series.