Date: 02.04.2012Last updated: 02.04.2012 at 11.38

Category: BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide and CCTV-9, the documentary channel of Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, have today signed two co-production deals for new science series Generation Earth and Wonders of Life. The deals mark the first co-production arrangement between CCTV-9 and BBC Worldwide.

Click to tweet: .@BBCWpress agrees to first ever co-pro deals with Chinese documentary channel CCTV-9

The new productions bring together CCTV and the BBC’s award-winning Science Unit for the first time.  BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, brokered the deals and will distribute the series globally.

CCTV-9 will broadcast the new Brian Cox series Wonders of Life, which examines the story of life through physics, in winter 2012.  Generation Earth, a study of the most ambitious engineering projects on earth, will air on CCTV-9 during spring 2013.

Steve Macallister, President and Managing Director, Sales & Distribution, BBC Worldwide, welcomed the deals, ‘BBC Worldwide has been doing business in China for over twenty years and has established a strong relationship with CCTV.  We’re proud to bring the UK and Chinese creative sectors together on these educational and enlightening series.’

Liu Wen, Channel Director, CCTV-9, also commented, ‘The BBC is world-renowned for its factual programming, and we’ve had great success with titles such as Human Planet and Frozen Planet, so we’re very pleased to be partnering with them on two groundbreaking new series.’

Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC’s Commissioning Editor for Science and Natural History, said, ‘With the support of international partners like CCTV-9, our creative talent have the freedom to push themselves even further in producing outstanding programmes.  We’re excited to see the results in the finished series, which are large-scale, ambitious and informative.’

BBC Worldwide has previously brokered a co-production for Wild China (known in China as Beautiful China), between the BBC’s Natural History Unit and CTV, a production company under CCTV.  The series, distributed by BBC Worldwide, has been licensed to over 160 territories around the world.

For more information, please contact:


Ben Nolan

Communications Officer, Content & Production and Sales & Distribution, BBC Worldwide

Tel:      +44 (0) 208 8433 3862 


Twitter:  @BenNolan78 





Wonders of Life (5 x 50') A BBC/Science Channel/CCTV co-production

What is life? Where did it come from and why does it end? 3.7 billion years ago, the fundamental laws that previously built stars, supernovae and planets contrived to create this complex, diverse and unique force. This is the story of the amazing diversity and adaptability of life, told through the fundamental laws that govern it, and revealing the milestones in an epic journey from the origins of life to our own existence.

Series Producer James Van der Pool (Wonders of the Universe, Horizon)
Executive Producer Andrew Cohen (Horizon, Can We Believe the Science?, Wonders of the Solar System)

Generation Earth (3 x 50') A BBC/Discovery Channel/CCTV co-production

Thirty years ago the World Wide Web was just a glimmer of an idea, the world’s first commercial cell phone network had just started operating and Dubai was a dusty strip of desert with a single highway. In one generation, we have transformed the face of our planet. Featuring the most ambitious and audacious engineering projects on Earth, from the world’s tallest building  to the suspension bridges connecting China, this series captures the power of human ambition and ingenuity.

Series Producer Simon Finch (Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds, Death of a President)
Executive Producer Helen Thomas (A Renaissance Education, Kidnapped: A Georgian Adventure)

BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has six core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products, and Brands, Consumers & New Ventures, with digital ventures incorporated into each business area. In 2010/11, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £160 million on sales of £1158 million and returned £182m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website:


BBC Worldwide Sales & Distribution

BBC Worldwide Sales & Distribution is responsible for licensing programmes to customers around the world on behalf of the BBC and independent production companies.  As the largest exporter of finished television programmes outside of the US studios, this business manages a catalogue of around 50,000 hours spanning all genres.   It runs BBC Worldwide Showcase, the world’s biggest programme trade fair organised by a single distributor and is also responsible for developing and sourcing funding and partners for international co-productions.  In 2010/11, Sales & Distribution generated gross profits of £64 million on gross sales of £260.6 million.

BBC Worldwide has been doing business in China for over twenty years and has established a strong relationship with CCTV. We’re proud to bring the UK and Chinese creative sectors together on these educational and enlightening series.’

Steve Macallister, President and Managing Director, Sales & Distribution, BBC Worldwide

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