BBC Studios, EOS Films and Oxford Scientific Films have signed a co-production deal with the state-backed China International Television Corporation (CITVC) to produce a nature documentary series, the firms said Tuesday. CITVC is the business division of Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, whose interests align with the country’s ruling Communist Party.
“China: Nature’s Ancient Kingdom” will consist of three 50-minute episodes to launch in fall 2020, with BBC Studios investing and handling distribution outside of Greater China. It is currently being filmed in different national parks in the mainland. Exploring the country, it will tell the tale of some of the country’s native animals, including pandas, tigers and leopards. Production will be completed by September 2020.
More from Variety
- 'In Treatment' the Top TV Drama Remake of the Past Decade, 'Skam' and 'Doctor Foster' Hot Prospects
- U.S. and SVOD Sales Drive Bumper $1.8 Billion in British TV Exports
- BBC Risks 'Losing a Generation of Viewers,' Regulator Warns
Starting in 2017, China set up a system of 10 pilot national parks to protect rare species there. Production teams shooting in 4K began traveling to all 10 of them this year to shoot the flora, fauna and local communities there.
Lynn Zhang, the VP of CHNPEC, CITVC’s TV program marketing department, said that the series will “explore our country’s beautiful nature, home to one of the oldest civilizations on earth, as well as some of the rarest animals on earth.”
“China is proud to be creating 10 new national parks to protect the unique environments that house these special animals. We will take a close look at their history and current lives, working with some of the best producers in the world,” she added.
Founded in 1984, Chinese state-owned enterprise CITVC is the business division of CCTV. CHNPEC is its subsidiary specializing in the marketing of films and TV programs.
Best of Variety
- Emmys Trivia: 20 Surprising Facts From 2019's Nominations
- Listen: Hugh Grant on Why He Would Kill Social Media if He Could
- The Best Gifts for 'Big Bang Theory' Fans