In today’s Global Bulletin, the BBC details its 2021-2023 Diversity and Inclusion Plan, Netflix and Fremantle partner on a new reality series in Spain, NBCUniversal Formats and Banijay Asia Indian remakes of popular formats, MF Yapim preps a Turkish version of “The Split,” BBC Two commissions “Jay’s Workshop” from Ricochet, Uplands TV signs a first look deal with the BBC and Pact hires Nick Sherman and Jules Robinson to back local indies.
The BBC has detailed its 2021-23 Diversity and Inclusion Plan which the company hopes sets the industry standard for inclusion and workplace diversity.
Several key points were announced as part of the plan, including the BBC’s largest ever increase in entry-level opportunities and apprenticeships, a new outreach program focused on engaging with underrepresented communities in the existing BBC workforce, diversifying the company’s leadership structures, new inclusive behavior training for employees as well as tools to tackle non-inclusive behaviors, and improved accessibility for disabled staff.
According to the BBC, the plan will allow the company to meet its 50:20:12 workforce targets in the next three to five years. That’s 50 percent women; at least 20 percent black, Asian or minority ethnic; and at least 12 percent disabled employees.
“We must – from top to bottom – represent the audiences we serve. We have made some big improvements, but we want and need to go further,” said BBC director-general Tim Davie in the announcement. “This plan will ensure we are a modern, progressive, welcoming organization where our staff are supported to deliver outstanding creative work and background is no barrier. Having the right mix of people, ideas and experiences at the BBC will mean we continue to provide world-class content for everybody.”
Netflix Spain and Fremantle have announced a new “Too Hot to Handle”-style competition series which will start casting in the coming weeks and shooting in June. The series, currently untitled, marks the platform’s second go at reality programming after the recently announced “Insiders,” a “Big Brother”-adjacent competition program with a €100,000 purse. The two series announcements come following Netflix Spain’s hiring of Álvaro Díaz, who helmed Spain’s “Big Brother” remake for local producers Zeppelin.
Fremantle produces Netflix’s “Too Hot to Handle,” and although the series will be similar, the new Spanish series will not be a direct format remake. Although no concrete decision has been announced yet, Ibiza has been floated as a likely destination for shooting according to Spanish outlet Vertele, which broke the news.
NBCUniversal Formats and Banijay Asia have signed a co-production deal to create local Indian versions of international hit titles “Suits,” “House,” “Monk,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Titan Games” and “Top Chef.”
The portfolio will be tailored to suit the vast and linguistically diverse region. This is NBCUniversal Formats’ first co-production deal in India, and the company aims to create more local content across Asia. “Suits” has been adapted in Japan and Korea, “Saturday Night Live” for Japan, China and Korea, and “Top Chef” for Thailand and Vietnam. – Naman Ramachandran
BBC Studios and Turkey’s MF Yapim have closed a format agreement for a Turkish version of “The Split,” the popular high-end divorce court drama which recently confirmed its third and final season in the U.K.
Originally created and written by Abi Morgan (“Suffragette”) and produced by Sister (“Chernobyl”), the Turkish remake will be produced by MF Yapim, part of the Medyapim family, for FOX TV, with shooting set to start this summer. Turkey will be the second territory to remake “The Split,” after a Korean version was ordered by broadcaster JTBC last year.
BBC Two has commissioned Warner Bros. International Television Production UK company Ricochet to produce a new limited series from presenter Jay Blades titled “Jay’s Workshop” (working title), in which he will work with a team of volunteers to build handcrafted furniture for deserving embers of their community. The pieces built on the show will not only benefit those who receive them when finished, but provide a learning experience to the volunteers who work on the crafts and skills they can carry with them in the future.
BBC Two controller Patrick Holland and head of commissioning Catherine Catton ordered the series which will be executive produced by Emma Walsh and Robi Dutta from Ricochet.
BBC Studios and Uplands TV have inked a three-year first-look deal, negotiated through BBC Studios’ Content Partnerships team, which will give the BBC’s commercial arm dibs on Uplands’ development slate with a particular focus on history, documentary and landmark series.
Uplands was founded in 2017 by Mike Smith and David Olusoga with an idea to create history, current affairs, specialist factual and travel and adventure programs which would be highly relevant and accessible to a wide audience. Thus far, the company has backed programs such as “The Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files” for BBC Two, “The Unremembered” for C4 and “Alt History” for BBC’s iPlayer. Upcoming titles include “The Forgotten Empire” for BBC Two and PBS and “One Thousand Years of Slavery” for Channel 5 and Smithsonian.
Pact, a U.K. trade association representing the commercial interests of more than 600 independent television, film, digital, children’s and animation media companies, has hired former BBC commissioning executive Nick Sherman and former Pinewood Studios Group business development head Jules Robinson to drive growth among the entities it represents.
The two will begin in their new roles on March 1, tasked with providing structured support to Pact members through workshops and resources aimed to help those companies with their overall development of business and productions.