NFL Stars J.J., T.J. & Derek Watt To Front ‘Ultimate Tag’ Competition Format, Based On Playground Game, For Fox

NFL players J.J., T.J. and Derek Watt are to front a physical competition format based on a classic playground game for Fox.

The broadcaster has ordered Ultimate Tag from Znak & Co, the production company run by Masterchef exec producer Natalka Znak.

The high-octane series, based on the playground game where players must chase each other in order to tag the other one, will launch on the network in 2020. It is the latest on-screen portrayal of the game following the theatrical success of New Line Cinema’s Tag, which starred Ed Helms, John Hamm and Jeremy Renner and was based on a Wall Street Journal article about a group of guys that have played a game of tag since they were young.

NFL players J.J., T.J. and Derek Watt are to front a physical competition format based on a classic playground game for Fox.

It is hosted by the Watt brothers; J.J. plays for the Houston Texans and has been AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year a number of times in his first five seasons, Derek plays for the Los Angeles Chargers and T.J. plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers

The series is produced by Znak & Co., which produced extreme sports competition reality series Revolution for Fox and Sky and Meghan Markle: American Princess for Fox. Znak boarded the most recent season of cooking competition MasterChef as exec producer.

Fox Alternative Entertainment will co-produce, continuing its plan to co-produce series through its own production unit. Znak will exec produce with Conrad Green, who used to showrun Dancing with the Stars and exec produced Fox’s My Kitchen RulesDancing On Ice exec producer Glenn Coomber and J.J. Watt.

Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment and Specials, Fox Entertainment said that Ultimate Tag was a “very strong and fun format”, and a “very broad show” with a lot of co-viewing potential.

Speaking on the Fox upfronts press call, he told Deadline that it fits in with Fox’s acquisition of the WWE. “I was looking at the acquisition of WWE and some of the sports programming we have and I believe that it sits closely to that audience and is an opportunity for families to sit around and watch that.”

DEADLINE | Sky Targets Younger Viewers With Kids’ Spin-Off Of ‘Rollerball’-Style Entertainment Format ‘Revolution’

by Peter White

Sky is currently searching for kids aged five to 12 with a passion for action sports to appear in Revolution: Skills and has also ordered Revolution Cuts, based on the big-budget skateboarding and BMX format. It is looking for skateboarders, BMXers, rollerbladers and scooter kids. Revolution Skills will see the pros teach kids tricks, while Revolution Cuts is a compilation of the original series aimed at youngsters. Both are fifteen episodes of ten minutes.

Motion Content Group, the rebranded GroupM Entertainment run by Richard Foster, is co-producing alongside Natalka Znak’s transatlantic indie.

The show is one of Sky One’s latest high-end entertainment bets since it revamped the channel’s strategy last year. The kids’ spin-offs will air on its Sky Kids app as well as its on-demand service.

Sky launched its kids app in 2016 as it looked to tie up younger viewers. It launched with a reboot of iconic animation Morph from Aardman Animations and has also commissioned shows including wildlife series Monkeys and Apes: Wild Files from Offspring Films. The service, which also features a raft of third party series from the likes of Cartoon Network, Disney and Nickelodeon, is run by Sky’s head of kids content Lucy Murphy.

The move comes after Znak & Co., run by I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here producer Znak, recently scored a U.S. pilot for Revolution. It is working with Fox on the competition format. Znak said recently that she sold the show to the U.S. network in “quite possibly the worst pitch of all time”.

“I couldn’t get any of my materials or the tape to play but then I just told them about the show and they absolutely loved. They said it’s like Ninja Warrior, in the sense that it’s exciting, it’s sport, it’s got very strong characters, so it has that co-viewing feeling. You’re watching it for the thrills, spills and amazing drama and amazing accidents that we dealt with all of the time but actually you’re really rooting for people and turning on week after week to see how they do. It’s got everything a breakout entertainment show should have,” she added.

RADIO TIMES | "...Revolution isn't for the faint-hearted"

Revolution RX03_223.JPG

By Frances Taylor

“We had eight paramedics on site and a lot of paperwork. Please do not try this at home, unless you have made the same arrangements.” It’s not often an entertainment show opens with this sort of warning flashing up on screen before the presenters have even been introduced, but Revolution isn’t for the faint-hearted. 

The Ninja Warrior-style show sees 50 fearless BMX bikers, rollerbladers and skateboarders taking on terrifying stunts and challenges (they have ominous names like The Cull and The Reckoning) to see ultimately which street sport is the best. The premise might be a bit fluffy, but the spectacle is anything but. It’s just as well those paramedics are on hand – actual blood gets spilt on the course.


Steve-O and Maya Jama present an entertainment show in which inline skaters, BMXers and skateboarders go head-to-head in a series of rounds that include high-speed races, an obstacle course and a high jump competition. Jordan Banjo has all the trackside gossip and Tim Warwood and CK Flash provide the commentary.


Original article taken from:

VARIETY | Fox Orders ‘Meghan Markle: An American Princess’ Ahead of Royal Wedding (EXCLUSIVE)

UK-produced documentary will air days before the couple’s big day

By Stewart Clarke @varietystewart

With interest in Meghan Markle reaching fever pitch ahead of her wedding to Prince HarryFox will run a two-hour special on May 11 about the American actress who is marrying into British royalty.

The documentary, “Meghan Markle: An American Princess,” will feature behind-the-scenes and archival footage and purports to be the definitive look at the woman who could change the British royal family forever.

Billed as the inside story of the bride-to-be from the people who know her, the film boasts interviews with Markle’s half-sister, Samantha, journalist and presenter Piers Morgan, Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell; and Dickie Arbiter, Queen Elizabeth II’s former press secretary.

“Since the early days of the British monarchy, right up to the present, the royal family has captivated the minds and imaginations of people across the globe,” said Rob Wade, president of alternative entertainment and specials for Fox. “With Meghan Markle on the cusp of becoming a real princess, joining the likes of Princess Kate and the late Princess Diana, this special will give viewers a unique look and insight into her journey, from her upbringing in Southern California to her wedding to Prince Harry in Windsor Castle.”

U.K.-based Spun Gold is making inroads into the U.S. and won the Fox commission. Its royal pedigree includes “The Royal House of Windsor” and specials with Prince Philip, the queen’s consort, and Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.

Daniela Neumann, managing director of Spun Gold, said: “’An American Princess’ will provide viewers with the definitive inside story of the most talked-about wedding of the year, packed with exclusive insights into how Meghan and the world’s most famous family will change each other’s lives.” Neumann added that Spun Gold has more U.S. projects in development as it expands stateside.

The indie producer made the film with Znak & Co., the trans-Atlantic production company run by Natalka Znak that recently made a U.S. pilot of Sky U.K.’s physical gameshow “Revolution,” also for Fox. Znak said that the “special promises to reveal details of Meghan’s new royal life that will amaze American audiences.”

Internationally, the Fox show will be distributed by Fox Networks Group Content Distribution. The sales effort will start in earnest at MipTV in Cannes in April.

Markle’s engagement to Harry became public in November and her departure from TV show “Suits” was announced in January. The pair will tie the knot May 19 at St. George’s Chapel, inside the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Original article

RealScreen | Danny Tipping joins Znak&Co

By Daniele Alcinii

British pay-TV network Sky has undergone a company restructure that has seen the doors to Sky Vision’s production arm, Sky Vision Productions, close and its director of programming and development joining Natalka Znak‘s Znak&Co.

Sky Vision will shutter its Chorleywood production facility, with the company’s distribution post-production facility moving to Sky’s main Osterley campus in London.

Sky Vision was formed after the British telecommunications conglomerate acquired Parthenon in 2012, rebranding its production unit as Sky Vision Productions and the distribution arm as Sky Vision. The Sky Vision brand has since housed a growing distribution arm and established Sky’s production portfolio, which is home to such companies as Znak&Co, Love Productions, Blast! Films and Jupiter Entertainment.

As a result of the closure, Sky Vision Productions’ Danny Tripping (pictured) will join Los Angeles- and London-based Znak&Co as head of factual. Based out of the shop’s UK offices, Tripping will spearhead the company’s expanding international factual offering.

At Sky Vision Productions, Tipping has been responsible for delivering a slate of award-winning unscripted programming to the likes of Sky Atlantic, Discovery Inc., A+E Networks, National Geographic, Netflix and UKTV.

In 2014, British telecommunications conglomerate Sky invested in Znak&Co. Productions in its pipeline currently include Sky One’s primetime entertainment format Revolution, with a localized adaptation for the American market via Fox also in the works.

Sky Vision’s sales activities and other studios in Sky Vision’s prodco portfolio have been unaffected by the restructure.

“Danny Tipping’s move to Znak&Co injects fantastic factual expertise into Znak, and enables Sky Vision to maintain our commitment to development and production,” said Sky Vision’s MD Jane Millichip in a statement. “The closure of Sky Vision Productions, and the transfer of our post production services from Chorleywood to Sky’s central campus, is a re-alignment that allows us to drive efficiencies.”

She added: “I would like to thank the talented team at Sky Vision Productions and our Chorleywood Tech team for delivering a brilliant slate of factual programming for the past five years, and for servicing thousands of international deals.”