Culture secretary

“Gem Hunters Down Under” presales; new culture secretary for the UK government

australian obs-doc The Gem Hunters Below australian and european pre-sale locks

Development and production consultancy Wild Thring Media has confirmed the first round of pre-sales for The Gem Hunters Below (6 x 60 min.), a new unscripted series from content partner WildBear Entertainment.

The series (pictured), which focuses on five mining crews scouring the rugged landscape of central Queensland to hunt down the region’s rich sapphire deposits, was picked up by Seven Network for its 7Mate channel in Australia; Warner Bros. Discovery for the UK and Benelux; Seven.One Entertainment Group for Germany; and Viasat World for Viasat Explore in the Nordic, Baltic and CEE countries.

The pre-sale response to the series encouraged WildBear to greenlight the production of two additional seasons, which are due to ship in Spring and Fall 2023 and received initial support from Seven Network. WildBear International will distribute the series.

The Gem Hunters Below responds brilliantly to the current demand for obs-docs on interesting and challenging professions. However, its unique Australian locations, fascinating cast of characters and the real-life quest for buried treasure – and the associated risks – provide universal themes and thrilling storylines that elevate this series to the international market,” said Edwina Thring, Managing Director . by Wild Thring Media. “We are delighted with the rapid response to the title from our presale partners, and anticipate the same with the two new series.”

Million Dollar Island to have a common Dutch/Flemish season

The original Dutch version of Talpa’s Survivor-Format on steroids Million Dollar Island gets a second season, but with a Belgian touch.

For the new season, the show’s Dutch network SBS6 will cooperate with Flemish broadcaster VTM2 to make the series available to audiences in Belgium, and the cast will include Dutch and Flemish contestants.

Million Dollar Island is a fantastic social experience in which the emotional intelligence of ordinary people keeps you hooked until the bitter finale,” said Kristine Willems, channel manager of VTM2, in a press release. “This format fits perfectly with the VTM2 profile, and we are delighted to add this adventure to our programme.”

The Dutch edition of the format, which debuted in March 2022, saw 100 contestants dropped off on a remote island, each fitted with a bracelet worth $10,000. As they struggle to survive in harsh conditions, they must also participate in a series of physical and mental challenges that allow them to win and lose bracelets. As contestants are eliminated or drop out, the pot of bracelets gets bigger and bigger, until eventually the last remaining contestants compete for a chance to win the entire prize.

Local editions of the format have already been ordered for the United States, the Middle East and Australia. A UK version is also in the works with Studio Lambert, which is producing the US version of the format for NBC.

Michelle Donelan appointed UK Culture Secretary

Michelle Donelan, a former marketing manager for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and the History Channel in the UK, has been named Britain’s new culture secretary under the recent appointment of Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Donelan’s political career began in 2015, with stints as minister of the UK Department for Education and, most recently, as education secretary – a post she assumed in July but resigned two days after his appointment, as part of the administration’s wave of resignations. which resulted in the end of Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister.

Donelan takes the post following the departure of former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries. While Dorries held the post, many burning issues affecting the UK’s production and broadcasting spheres came to light – including the push to privatize Channel 4 and calls for the license fee to be scrapped. BBC.

It’s still unclear where Donelan will land on either topic, but since her nomination was announced, British media have highlighted a 2019 letter to voters when she was MP for Westminster, in which she called the license fee an “unfair tax” that should be “thrown away”.

(With files from Barry Walsh)