FremantleMedia closes Latin American deals as La Screenings begin

MUMBAI: Fremantle International Distribution (FID), the distribution arm of FremantleMedia, announced a raft of recent sales in the Latin American region as it kicks off its LA Screenings campaign.

FID vice president sales and development, Latin America and Hispanic USA Sheila Aguirre brokered the deals with a number of key broadcasters in the region.

Discovery (People & Arts) acquired season four of Mark Burnett's The Apprentice, which tests competitors' survival techniques in New York City's corporate jungle as the candidates face weekly business challenges and strive to reach the top. The winning candidate is awarded an apprenticeship with top tycoon Donald Trump. Discovery (People & Arts) also picked up the new series of Project Runway, the reality fashion hit hosted by Heidi Klum in which talented fashion designers get the opportunity to show their designs in front of the global fashion community in New York and displayed in the pages of Elle magazine.

As the FIFA World Cup draws ever closer, football fever continues to grip the world and viewers in Colombia and Brazil will soon be able to learn about the History of Football: The Beautiful Game (13 x 1 hour), to be broadcast on Colombia City TV and TV Cultura in Brazil. Narrated by Terrance Stamp, this series tells the definitive story of the game that generates more excitement, passion and wealth across the world than any other sport.

The History Channel signed a deal for a package of five key factual documentaries, including Holy Warriors (2 x 1 hour), which documents the struggle between the English King Richard the Lionheart and the Muslim leader Saladin for control of Jerusalem.

In The Real Face of Santa (1 x 1 hour) Dr Franco Introna delves into the history of Santa Claus to discover the real story of St Nicholas. Although the image of Santa as an old man with a white beard is recognised all over the world, the truth is much stranger. Combining facial reconstruction technology with top secret Vatican documents, Dr Introna and his team unravel the mystery of St Nicholas.

Catherine The Great (2 x 1 hour) also goes to the History Channel. The life of one of Russia's brilliant rulers is the subject of this drama documentary, telling the story of Catherine's reign, and how she strove to modernise Russia, with new ideas on health and education and waged wars in her ruthless quest for expansion. Catherine The Great brings to life one of history's most powerful and passionate women.

In The Story of 1 (1 x 1 hour) Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) goes on a humour filled journey to discover what tale lies behind the simplest number we have. Using computer graphics, 'one' is brought to life for the programme, in its various guises. The story reveals where our modern numbers came from and how the invention of zero saved us from having to use Roman numerals today.

Rounding out the History Channel's package is Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet (1 x 1 hour). Marine archaeologist Kenzo Hayashida's discovery of a ship from a Mongol fleet that sank in 1281 AD, leads to new insights into the empire of Khubilai Khan. This documentary sheds light on the mystery of the fleet that sank on its way to fight the Japanese samurai.

In further agreements, viewers of GloboSat in Brazil and Cosmopolitan Television Latin America will soon see Godiva's (19 x 1 hour), where the high-pressure, fast-paced world of the restaurant business is revealed, as are the equally entwined private lives of the young, urban tribesters who populate it.

In a final deal, the first of its kind as brokered by FID, Canal 10 in Uruguay has signed a format deal to produce 13 episodes of Distraction locally. The gameshow, created by FremantleMedia's talkbackThames, combines ridiculously simple trivia questions with hilarious concentration-breakers and will be produced by Canal 10.

FremantleMedia Enterprises CEO David Ellender said, "The breadth of the deals closed in the Latin American market by Sheila Aguirre provide a very positive note on which to enter the LA Screenings, and certainly bode well for a successful market ahead."

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