Austrian broadcaster ORF and Germany’s ZDF have commissioned a three-episode season two for period crime drama “Vienna Blood,” produced by Endor Productions — a Red Arrow Studios company — and MR Film. After successful season one runs in the U.S. and U.K., both PBS and BBC Two are on board as well.
Screenwriter Steve Thompson (“Deep State,” “Sherlock”) returns to continue adapting Frank Tallis’ best-selling books. Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Robert Dornhelm (“Anne Frank: The Whole Story”) will lead direct.
Production is scheduled to begin on location in Austria next month with stars Matthew Bared and Jurgen Maurer returning to their roles as Doctor Max Liebermann and detective Oskar Reinhardt, who together investigate a series of unusual murders in the Austrian capital city.
Season one was BBC Two’s second best-performing drama of 2019, while episode one was ORF’s top-rated Friday-night broadcast of the year. The series is also broadcast in France, Spain, Finland, China and Japan as well as much of Eastern Europe.
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BBC Two and BBC Scotland have renewed Neil Forsyth’s popular dark comedy miniseries “Guilt” for a second, four-part season. Filming is set to take place later this year following all government health and safety regulations regarding COVID-19.
Starring Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives, “Guilt” turns on two brothers who accidentally hit and kill an elderly man with their car while driving at night. The two do the best they can to cover up their crime, but the victim’s family remain unconvinced about the circumstances of his death.
“Guilt” is co-produced by Expectation and Happy Tramp North in the U.K. where so far more than 3 million people have tuned in to season one, making it a top three series for BBC’s iPlayer in Scotland.
Barcelona’s BCN Film Fest has become one of Europe’s first film festivals to celebrate an on-site edition since COVID-19 shut down European get-togethers from early March. More than 8,000 tickets were sold — down 50% from 2019 — over the festival’s eight days, with 10 films selling out including opener “One for All.” Of 140 European film festivals scheduled between March and June surveyed by Cineuropa, two were stopped, 37 cancelled, 53 postponed and 48 taken online.
Run by Barcelona’s Cines Verde, owned by distributor A Contracorriente Films, BCN Film Fest took several basic decisions to apply safety guidelines more effectively. All films were screened at Cines Verde, a five-screen multiplex where capacity was limited to 50% with every other seat left empty. Floor traffic was regulated, screening times staggered and foreign guests participated digitally.
William Nicholson’s divorce drama “Hope Gap,” with Annette Bening and Bill Nighy took best picture, its first festival win, while Jan Komasa’s “Corpus Christi” scooped the Accec Critics’ Award. “True History of the Kelly Gang” scribe Justin Kurzel won best screenplay, “Hope Gap” lead Josh O’Conner took best actor, and Rosamund Pike scored best actress for her work as Marie Currie in “Radioactive.” “Corpus Cristi” composers Evgueni Galperine and Sacha Galperine won best music.
Edinburgh TV Festival has announced a batch of North American industry executives who will participate at this year’s event, focusing on trans-Atlantic interaction.
Netflix director of unscripted originals Nathaniel Grouille and director of unscripted originals and acquisitions Sean Hancock will be joined by “Too Hot to Handle” creator Laura Gibson and executive producer Viki Kolar to discuss taking U.K. shows abroad.
TLC president and general manager Howard Lee and A+E president of programming Rob Sharenow will participate in panels analyzing their own networks as larger industry trends in programming. And Jeniffer Kim, senior VP, international originals for HBO Max, will speak about how U.K. programming fits in on the networks new streaming platform.
Edinburgh TV Festival is backed by YouTube and Freeview and will run Aug. 24-27.
Studiocanal and digital content aggregator-distributor Under the Milky Way have signed an agreement for transactional digital distribution of more than 450 Studiocanal catalog titles in Europe (outside of Studiocanal’s direct distribution territories of France, the U.K. and Germany), Latin America, Asia and Canada.
Key classic titles include “Elephant Man,” “Basic Instinct,” “Bridget Jones” and the 4K restored version of “Apocalypse Now.” Additionally, the deal will see 300 French films made available for digital distribution in Canada, including recent hits “The Perfect Nanny,” “Someone Somewhere” and several classics from the likes of Ozon, Sautet, Tati and Klapisch.
As part of the Scottish government’s £185 million ($231 million) Business Support Fund, £10 million ($12.5 million) has been earmarked as lifeline support for performing arts venues, to be administered through Creative Scotland and Bectu, the U.K.’s media and entertainment trade union.
The Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund is aimed at regularly funded organizations and non-RFOs with three stated goals: removing the threat of insolvency prior to the end of March 2021, allowing for specialist and core staff to return from furlough while avoiding future redundancies, and increasing opportunities for commissioning and employment of freelancers.
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