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)

U.K.-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.”


BROADCAST | Broadcast Best Places to Work 2018

  • Paula Cowles, head of production and Marnie Sirota, senior VP of operations & finance

How do you find talent?

This year, we partnered with the Mama Youth Project and we’re employing their graduates across our commissioned projects. We are looking to broaden our work-experience scheme with Leeds University in 2018.

How can staff contribute ideas to improve the working culture?

We hold weekly meetings where company news and updates are shared and staff can contribute their ideas.

How do you encourage and reward staff and freelancer loyalty?

Staff and freelancers are encouraged to stay and/or return because of the open, fun and supportive culture we create. We hold a number of social events each month that encourage teams to mix and socialise outside of the work environment. We also feel that our favourable levels of pay encourage both staff and freelancers.

Nominate a ‘rising star’ in your business

During one of our many interview rounds, we spotted a senior casting AP, Dwayne Eaton, and gave him his first long-term casting producer role on our sports entertainment series for Sky 1, Revolution.

He has thrived in the role, managing a team of four and responsible for casting an eight-part series of 75 contributors in the disciplines of BMX, skateboarding and inline skating. We are now hoping to develop his skills further in an edit producer training role.

What are you most proud of about your company?

Having worked for big media giants and super-indies, we love opening up the office each morning and locking our own front door at night.

While remaining very business focused, we feel we are in charge of our own destiny and decision-making, and this feeds down to everyone within the company.

The feedback we get from staff and freelancers is that they want to work hard for and return to Znak & Co, which we are very proud of.