Tag Archives: France Télévisions

Nat Geo Wild, CCTV shop at Earth Touch

Disney-owned factual channel Nat Geo Wild has ordered an eighth season of nature series Snakes In The City from South African factual entertainment producer and distributor Earth Touch.

Snakes In The City

International broadcasters including China’s CCTV, Germany’s NTV and RTL Geo and France Télévisions have also picked up multiple shows from Earth Touch.

CCTV has acquired 12 hours of programming including Africa’s Deadliest season four and Lion Brothers: Cubs to Kings, with France Télévisions buying one-hour specials Lions: Hunt for Survival and Diary of a Teen Leopard and Czech channel Prima Zoom taking 38 hours of content.

Poland’s TVP, meanwhile, has licensed 52 hours of programming while NTV has gone for shows such as Extreme Animal Transport, Realm of the Rattlesnake and Africa’s Predator Kingdoms and pre-bought Earth Touch’s upcoming series Epic Oceans.

Finally, RTL Geo (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Alto Adige) has licensed five one-off specials including Oceanic Whitetip – The Shipwreck Shark, which was also taken by Japanese pubcaster NHK.

Snakes In The City follows Durban snake catchers Simon Key and Siousxie Gillet as they go about their business in the South African city. Season eight sees new member Mbali Mtshali join the team as an apprentice, who it is hoped will also help bridge the gap between the team and the Zulu community.

Announcing the deals during this week’s Mipcom, Chris Fletcher, Earth Touch’s director of sales and programming, said: “The market for high-quality wildlife films continues to be strong worldwide but especially in Europe.”

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France TV, WarnerMedia adapt Akissi


France Télévisions and WarnerMedia are co-financing an animated special based on publishing property Akissi, which centres on a mischievous girl growing up in Ivory Coast.

French animation studio Ellipsanime has begun production on the 1×26′ special in Paris, based on Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin’s children’s comic book series.

The comics were inspired by Abouet’s childhood in Abidjan, a city on the southern Atlantic coast of the French-speaking West African country.

According to the producers, the show will use humour, energy and a universal style to tell the stories of an intrepid little girl and her monkey, while portraying a lively and uninhibited Africa “far from the usual clichés.”

The actors who voice the French version of the special, including Kayla Lingalé, were cast in Abidjan, while the dubbing for the international version will be done in South Africa by the African Animation Network.

French pubcaster France Télévisions will debut the special in France and WarnerMedia is set to air the toon on Boomerang in English-speaking Africa in 2022.

Aimed at six- to 10-year-olds and directed by Alexandre Coste, the special comes after an animated adaptation of Akissi was first pitched at Cartoon Forum in France in 2017.

Abouet said: “Akissi invites children to go off into a warm and chaotic unknown world, an uninhibited and relaxed roam through an Africa that is so near and yet so far away.

“It’s like an open-air theatre where your attention is unceremoniously grabbed by these young characters and their sense of hospitality. And even though they have some faults, they are always happy and active, and children from all over the world will be able to identify with them.”

Pierre Siracusa, head of animation for young audiences at France Télévisions, added: “This programme is our first incursion into the everyday life of African children, which is universal and accessible to our young audiences thanks to the talent of Marguerite Abouet and the graphic skills of Mathieu Sapin.

“Akissi celebrates the arrival of a modern heroine and contributes to increasing the number of heroic role models present in our editorial offer. One of the many riches of this special is that it promotes diversity on screen and is precisely what we want to cultivate on our channels.”

Ariane Suveg, kids’ content director for France, Africa and Israel at WarnerMedia, said: “Akissi is a free, singular, mischievous and kind heroine in the animated and vibrant environment of contemporary Africa. The idea is that, through this special, we will be able to increase our animation offer specifically aimed at young African audiences and work towards a diversity of characters in unique stories.”

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Disney, France TV take African toon Kiya

Disney and France Télévisions have picked up a new South African preschool series from transatlantic studio Entertainment One (eOne) about a superhero who saves the day with martial arts and dance.

Olivier Dumont

Kiya (52×11’) will debut on Disney Jr and Disney+ globally and on France Télévisions in 2023.

Kiya is based on an original concept from South African-based production company Triggerfish and was developed for television by Frog Box and eOne. The production features a diverse creative team, including writers, designers and composers from across Africa as well as France, the US and UK.

Speaking at the Kidscreen virtual event on Thursday, eOne’s president of family brands Olivier Dumont revealed the commission along with reboots of the My Little Pony and Transformers franchises for global streamer Netflix.

Dumont said the prodco is seeking more original IP but stressed that pitches must have strong commercial, global and consumer products potential.

“We’re definitely still looking for original IP in the same way that we were in the past. In terms of what we’re looking for, it’s as it was before the acquisition by Hasbro; we’re looking for projects with very strong commercial potential which complement our existing slate. What’s critical in terms of commercial potential is projects need to have global potential, but also need to go deep in terms of ways that we can exploit the IP overall, and therefore need to have strong consumer products potential,” he said.

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ZDF, Homebrew take in Africa From Above

A host of buyers have come on board natural history series Africa From Above, which is currently in production and is distributed globally by ZDF Enterprises (ZDFE).

Off the Fence Productions’ Africa From Above

Produced by ZDFE-owned Off the Fence Productions, the series looks at Africa’s spectacular landscapes, cities, people and wildlife from a totally new perspective.

ZDFE has been joined on the 10×52′ series by German broadcaster ZDF, South Africa’s Homebrew Films, European broadcaster Arte, Austrian public broadcaster ORF and UKTV, owned by BBC Studios.

Weaving through mountains, coastlines, waterfalls and jungles, Africa From Above also hovers over cities to explore history, architecture and industry and looks at unique cultures and how people survive in some of the most extreme locations.

Ralf Rueckauer, VP of ZDF.unscripted, said: “By using the latest technology, airborne and on the ground, this production will capture Africa in a way that has never been seen before.”

In related news, ZDFE has bagged rights outside French-speaking Europe to the historical drama Voltaire in Love (4×50′), commissioned by France Télévisions. The series is from Siècle Productions, Umédia, Wallimage, RTBF and Pictanovo and will also air on French streamer Salto.

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