BBC Worldwide's Australian sales arm has concluded a wide range of deals across Australasia on the eve of BBC Showcase.
In a deal with the Nine Network, BBC Worldwide has licensed more than 27 hours of BBC factual programming, which will premiere on the network later in 2005. The deal is led by the powerful docu-drama Krakatoa, the story of the most powerful and iconic natural disaster in modern times, and Hiroshima , which recreates the world's first atomic attack in millisecond-by-millisecond detail.
Other titles include End Day, which investigates the scientific inevitability of apocalypse, and two series of Days That Shook the World, a gripping anatomy of some of the most important days in history, hour-by-hour, as they unfold.
In other deals in Australasia, the new David Attenborough natural history series Life In The Undergrowth will feature in ABC TV's 2006 season. This deal follows the pre-sale of the landmark BBC series Planet Earth, also presented by Attenborough, on the channel.
ABC TV has also committed to more than 70 hours of drama from the BBC, including the new period drama North and South, police drama 55 Degrees North, and medical series Bodies. New animated children's series Charlie & Lola has sold to ABC Kids.
Across the Tasman, BBC Worldwide has licensed more than 110 hours of factual, children's entertainment and new and returning drama titles to TVNZ in New Zealand, including Murder Prevention, Jane Hall's Big Bad Bus Ride, Carrie & Barry and the darkly comic musical thriller Blackpool.
New factual titles to be picked up by the broadcaster include Hiroshima, the new slate of Royal documentaries such as Harry: The Mysterious Prince and Prince William and Prince Harry: Prisoners of Celebrity, and Paparazzi, the portrait of the picture agency empire belonging to Australian Darryn Lyons.
Fantasy series Shoebox Zoo leads the BBC children's line-up going to TVNZ, with other titles including the new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel Kidnapped, natural history series The Really Wild Show and anarchic comedy The Giblet Boys.
BBC Worldwide has also made its first ever sale to New Zealand's C4 channel; with the licence of outrageous new comedy animation Popetown for broadcast this year.
"The ongoing success of our programming in this region is indicative of the strength of the BBC brand around the world," said Julie Dowding, BBC Worldwide's Head of Sales, Australasia.