Press Office

Thursday 17 Apr 2014

BBC Worldwide Press Releases

BBC Worldwide Channels steps up global and local productions in 2011

BBC Worldwide Channels today announces further exciting new commissions for its international channels BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies, BBC HD and UKTV (Australia). The news follows Jana Bennett’s announcement at the Banff Media Festival of the business’s plans to invest in more high quality original content for its portfolio of global networks. 

BBC Worldwide Channels' commissioning slate has now grown to 112 hours of content for 2011, up from 34 hours in 2010. This year-on-year increase underlines the growing commitment to funding original content alongside the core proposition of taking the best of British content to the world.

The next new series greenlit for BBC Worldwide's international channels are Year of Adventures, Dripping In Chocolate and kids' property Mr Bloom's Nursery.

Ben Fogle’s action-packed Year of Adventures (5 x 50') sees him tackling a series of challenges in the US, Europe and Australia, and is inspired by the Lonely Planet book of the same name. As host, expert and crash-test dummy, Ben demonstrates how true adventure is done. His exploits include kayaking with orcas in British Columbia, boarding down the slopes of a Nicaraguan volcano, rafting the snowmelts of Turkish Anatolia and kicking up dust in a desert buggy race across Australia’s Outback. 

Year of Adventures is produced by BBC Bristol, with Robi Dutta – BBC Bristol's Executive Producer for Factual – and Sue Norton – Head of Lonely Planet Television – as executive producers. The series will air on international feeds of BBC Knowledge, BBC HD and BBC Entertainment in January 2012.

Feature-length murder mystery Dripping in Chocolate (1 x 90') is in production for BBC Worldwide's Australian channel UKTV. A delicious mix of murder and love, the drama sees a detective and a chocolatier form an unlikely duo in order to find out who killed the girl discovered outside the chocolate shop.   

Dripping in Chocolate is a Southern Star production, and will premiere on UKTV in April 2012.

For pre-school channel CBeebies, two series of Mr Bloom’s Nursery (26 x 20’) are the latest in-house investments for BBC Worldwide Channels.

Set in a colourful, fertile allotment run by the green-fingered Mr Bloom (Ben Faulks), Mr Bloom’s Nursery combines live action and puppets to show how three to six year olds can learn from the experience of nurturing plants and vegetables.

Produced by the BBC, this brand new show will air on international feeds of CBeebies in 2012.

Speaking today about the upcoming commissions, David Weiland, BBC Worldwide’s SVP Programming & TV Channels said, “We are now delivering on our strategy to commission both local and global programming for our international channels with this brilliant and varied slate of new titles. Constantly adding to our programming mix keeps our channels compelling, and these new programme commissions will complement the high quality British content that we already feature.  The numerous new commissions announced in recent weeks underline the fact that BBC Worldwide Channels now has the scale and ambition to get solidly into original production. This is only the start and we have lots of other ideas in development and hope to announce more throughout 2011.”

These three shows join the slate of new commissions announced by the business this year and now in production:

Come Dine With Me South Africa (10 x 50’), a local version of ITV Studios’ hit format, features contestants from Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Come Dine With Me South Africa is being made by South African production company, Rapid Blue, and is set to premiere on BBC Entertainment this autumn.

In Free Rein (1 x 50’) screen legends Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward (The Thorn Birds) go in search of the spirit of Australia on the ultimate horseback adventure across The Kimberley, the Outback’s last frontier. Free Rein is a Lonely Planet TV and Freehand production for international feeds of BBC Knowledge, BBC HD and BBC Entertainment.

The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment (1 x 90’ and 2 x 60’) – for UKTV in Australia and BBC Knowledge globally – will tell the story of the brazen Australian shoplifting gang, one of the most spectacularly successful in history.  The title comes from The Full Box productions and is based on the book ‘King of Thieves’, by best-selling author Adam Shand.   

The business’ first comedy pilot, Some Say Love (1 x 30’), is also in development for UKTV in Australia. Some Say Love is an observational sketch-comedy series about the universal ups and downs of relationships, produced by Freehand.

Finally, in the kids’ space, Mr Bloom’s Nursery joins the steady list of investment in 2011 which include: Andy’s Wild Adventures (40 x 15’), made by the BBC’s Natural History Unit; Baby Jake (26 x 11’); Jollywobbles (13 x 9’); series one of Zingzillas Zing Bop (20 x 5’); series two of Gigglebiz (16 x 15’), series two of ZingZillas (52 x 11’); series three of Show Me Show Me(15 x 28’); and series six of Nina & the Neurons (25 x 14’).

All titles will make their global debuts in 2011 and 2012.


Harriet Otoo

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