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BBC’s Ghosts Remade In Other Countries; BBC Studios Buys Brutal Media


Scripted formats were placed front and center of BBC Studios’ panel at Series Mania, as the Doctor Who seller confirmed it is making up to three more versions of Ghosts and has bought Spain’s Brutal Media.

One of the hit BBC show’s creators, Simon Farnaby, recently told a podcast the show – which has achieved smash ratings on CBS in the U.S. – is being remade in Germany and Spain.

Matt Forde, who runs BBC Studios Global Entertainment, confirmed “there are two or three other versions in the works.”

“We love those shows and love the UK versions,” said Forde. “We are finding ways into these worlds in local creative communities.” Ghosts was recently renewed for a fourth CBS season, although the BBC version has ended.

Deadline revealed recently that BBC Studios’ deal with Lionsgate, which spawned the likes of Ghosts, had elapsed, but Forde was bullish about the scripted formats game

BBC Studios has been the “number one seller of scripted formats in the world” for the past two years, said Forde, who talked up local versions of Luther, Criminal Justice and Doctor Foster in India, Korea and beyond.

According to Forde, the Korean Doctor Foster is still the top-rated cable TV show in that nation of all time.

Shows that only run for a limited time in the UK can be fleshed out for longer in other territories, Forde added, citing the example of Criminal Justice in India, which has run for double the length of time as Peter Moffat’s original BBC version.

Brutal buy

BBC Studios has, meanwhile, bought Spanish outfit Brutal Media, the maker of Netflix Spanish horror feature Killer Book Club and The Academy.

Under the agreement, Brutal will continue to develop and market its slate of original IP in Spain as well as producing local adaptations of the unscripted and scripted formats in the BBC Studios catalogue.

BBC Studios will distribute and produce Brutal Media formats outside of Spain and Brutal will continue to be run by founders Raimon Masllorens and Nèlida Sanchez. Isabel Durán, Format Sales Director for the region, will transition to the new position of Head of Entertainment within the Brutal Media team

BBC Studios, which recently rejigged Forde’s global entertainment team, said it now has a production base in 12 territories, which supports the ambition to double the size of its 2021/22 business by 2027/28. The move follows an announcement earlier this week that BBC Studios had acquired Australian The Newsreader maker Werner Film Productions.

BBC Studios has licensed formats into Spain for a number of years such as Dancing with the Stars, The Great British Bake Off, The 1% Club, Bridge of Lies, MoneyBags and The Greats. Brutal, meanwhile, has made the likes of Asalto Al Banco Central, The Academy and Killer Book Club. Its portfolio includes formats This is Opera and This is Art, which were both broadcast in more than 70 territories.

Forde was speaking alongside new BBC Studios commercial director Nick Lee, who has been in the role six weeks and pointed to the importance of the group’s Mark Linsey-run LA office.

“The market is changing all the time so having real time knowledge and daily conversations with that group is really valuable,” he added. “We like to replicate that model in many territories’ local offices and then have sales teams on the ground.”

Series Mania finishes Friday and has also featured talks from Netflix, Disney+ and ZDF.



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