“Friends: The Reunion Special” has broken viewership records at Sky One, becoming the network’s most watched show ever with more than 5.3 million tuning in to see the one-off special, which was available exclusively on Sky and its Now streaming service in the region.
The special now stands as Sky’s most watched program across live, recorded and downloaded viewing from the past two years. “Friends: The Reunion” is second to only “Game of Thrones” for the largest ever audience across Sky’s entire portfolio of entertainment channels and for the most-watched piece of content in its first 24 hours from launch on Now.
In further evidence of the show’s sustained popularity, the reunion special now stands alone as the best organic performing content across Sky and Now’s social channels as well, with the #FriendsReunion tag trending locally as well as globally on the day of launch.
All3Media has finalized its acquisition of NENT Studios’ U.K. business from the Nordic Entertainment Group, confirming a Variety report from earlier this year that All3 was interested in the purchase. More than 10,000 hours of content are included in the deal, representing more than 100 formats including the likes of “Doc Martin,” “The Cry,” “Manhunt” and “Catchphrase.”
As reported in March, All3Media — whose subsidiaries span 50 production companies across the U.K., U.S., Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand — has been aggressive in pursuing new acquisitions over the past year, recently investing in “Our Planet” producer Silverback Films — a move that has fast-tracked the company in the natural history space.
Darren Star, who is currently in France shooting the second season of Netflix’s hit show “Emily in Paris,” will receive the Honorary Golden Nymph at the 60th Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Monaco’s Prince Albert II will present the tribute to Star during the festival’s opening ceremony on June 18. Star, whose credits include iconic shows such as “Sex and the City” and “Younger,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Melrose Place,” created and is executive producing “Emily in Paris,” one of Netflix’s most successful series whose second season is now in production.
“We are delighted to honor Darren Star at our 60th Anniversary Festival with the prestigious Honorary Golden Nymph,” said Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. “He is an exceptional talent who has created many of the most-loved and hugely popular television programs for audiences around the world.”
Silvergate Media has picked up rights to the popular children’s picture book “¡Vamos!” and will develop the IP into an animated series for kids and family. The bilingual book was penned by Mexican-American author Raúl González III and illustrated by Elaine Bay. The series follows Little Lobo, a coyote, and his dog Bernabé through a series of misadventures near the U.S.-Mexico border. Silvergate executive producer Kurt Miller (“Hilda,” “Octonauts”) will partner with González to produce the adaptation.
Famed Bollywood outfit Famous Studios’ first ever OTT feature production “Shaadisthan” launches today on Disney Plus Hotstar in India. The music-inspired feature stars Kirti Kulhari, Kay Kay Menon, Nivedita Bhattacharya and Rajan Modi, joined by popular musicians Shenpenn Khymsar, Apurv Dogra and Ajay Jayanthi. A road-trip story, “Shaadisthaan” tracks a free-spirited group of four musicians from Mumbai to a village in Rajasthan. The quartet is joined by a small-town couple who want to get their daughter married as soon as possible, and who’s eyes are opened to other ways of thinking along the way.
Bavaria Fiction has rearranged its top management, appointing Marcus Ammon as the company’s new managing director of content, with long-time managing director Jan S. Kaiser taking responsibility for production and finance. Five-year Bavaria Fiction vet Manfred Haus-Pflüger will leave the company’s management team at the end of the financial year.
In his new role, Ammon will be responsible for the content of all Bavaria Fiction’s productions and upcoming projects, and will handle development, acquisition and exploitation of TV, streaming and film programs. In his new role, Kaiser will handle all commercial and operational processes at Bavaria Fiction as well as contractual matters and taxes.
BBC Studios’ Productions factual division has appointed Abigail Priddle as creative director of history and arts in its documentary unit, which celebrates its first anniversary this week. In the role, Priddle is tasked with developing a strategy for the history and arts unit and will also work as an executive producer on upcoming titles. She will oversee the company’s portfolio of projects for clients both in the U.K. and abroad. For nearly five years, Priddle has worked in BBC commissioning and overseen a wide range of original programming including “The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story,” “The Trump Show” and “Bent Coppers.”