Intl. TV Newswire: BBC Gets EPL, Easter Islands Host First Production Since 1998

Jamie Lang

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In this week’s International TV Newswire the English Premier League TV schedules are announced – including a first-ever broadcast on the BBC, Secuoya teams with Tiki Group on the first fiction program to be shot on the Easter Islands in 22 years, Keshet’s “Singletown” gets a Danish remake, De Mensen launches a new format in Belgium and NENT commissions “Suck it Up” from “Lillyhammer” actress  Henriette Steenstrup.

BBC to Broadcast EPL for the First Time Ever

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The English Premier League, the U.K.’s top soccer competition, has reached agreements over which games will air on which networks from the League’s June 17 restart date through July 2. Aston Villa and Sheffield United will kick off the post-Covid portion of the 2019-20 season followed by Manchester City vs. Arsenal on Sky Sports, which will also broadcast Friday night’s headline match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. June 20, the BBC will broadcast, for the first time ever, a Premier League match when Bournemouth face off against Crystal Palace. 92 League games plus Cup matches remain to be played, and will be shared across Sky Sports, BBC, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video.

Secuoya Studios, Tiki Group to Co-Produce ‘La Isla’

Following a Tuesday morning on-site press conference where a symbolic first stone was laid for five new sound stages to be built at Madrid Content City, Secuoya Group made news again this week after announcing its production arm, Secuoya Studios, and Chile-Mexico production company Tiki Group will co-produce a new series, titled “La Isla” (The Island), to be shot on Easter Island (Rapa Nui), the first fiction production there since shooting permits were banned in 1998. Written by Spanish TV writer Eligio Montero (“Gran Hotel,” “Hierro”), associated with many top Spanish titles, and Chilean author Boris Quercia, behind the popular “Santiago Quiñones” trilogy of novels, the series will be directed by Uruguay’s Guillermo Amoedo (“The Stranger”). The series turns on a missing Spanish tourist visiting the mystical island, and the subsequent investigation to find out what happened.

Keshet’s ‘Singletown’ Gets Danish Commission from Discovery

A Danish version of Keshet Productions’ popular reality program “Singletown,” originally produced for ITV2 in the U.K., has been commissioned by Discovery Networks, to be produced by Nordisk Film TV Denmark. It’s Keshet’s first announced sale of the format. With casting already underway, shooting of the new version is scheduled to begin in July. The series tracks five couples who pause their relationships to spend the summer in a big city, experiencing things often off-limits when in a relationship. Each week, the couples are given an opportunity to end their hiatus and leave the show or keep living the single life.

De Mensen Announces New Format

Since its foundation in 2001, De Mensen has proved a leading production house for Belgian TV programming and the company announced this week it will produce a new reality series for broadcaster VTM. The program will dive into the stories and the personalities behind some of the country’s 45,000 personalized license plates. While many are self-explanatory, just this week the country got its first COVID-19 plate for instance, others, such as GRAPEGFRUIT, KEBAB and SMURF number among the many bewildering placards which often leave passers-by scratching their heads. The format was developed exclusively by De Mensen and will announce a premiere date for Belgium in the near future.

‘Lillyhammer’s’ Henriette Steenstrup to Write for Viaplay

Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) has commissioned “Suck it Up,” a new dramedy series written by “Lillyhammer” actress Henriette Steenstrup, for its Viaplay streaming platform. Shooting has already begun in Oslo with directors Gunnar Vikene (“Vegas”) and Charlotte Blom (“Staying Alive”). NENT-owned Monster Scripted’s Bård Fjulsrud and Ida Håndlykken Kvernstrøm are producing. NENT has been making waves for both the quality and quantity of its commissions in recent months, as well as successful finished programming such as “Wisting,” a BBC Four pickup for the network’s coveted Saturday night primetime schedule, and action-thriller “The Machinery,” which streamed more times in its first 24-hours on Viaplay than any other original production to date.

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