‘Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens’ Lands at BBC Three in the U.K.

'Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens' Lands at BBC Three in the U.K.

In today’s Global Bulletin, the BBC picks up Awkwafina’s latest series, Tove Lo preps her acting debut, HBO Nordics and Australia’s ABC make executive hires, Conecta Fiction Reboot and Mip Cancun share details for their updated events, and Banijay closes a first-look deal with U.K. production company Nineteen11.

ACQUISITION

BBC Three has picked up comedy series “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens” from ViacomCBS International Studios and will make it available to stream exclusively on BBC iPlayer in the U.K. later this year.

The 10-part series stars the popular actor-rapper Awkwafina, a Golden Globe winner for her work in “The Farewell,” and is based on her own real-life story growing up in Queens, New York. It co-stars “SNL” alum Bowen Yang, BD Wong (“Mr Robot”) and Lori Tann Chinn (“Orange is the New Black”).

Lucia Aniello, Natasha Lyonne and Steven K. Tsuchida direct the series, produced by Comedy Central and executive produced by Awkawfina, Karey Dornetto, Teresa Hsiao and Peter Principato. VIS is handling international distribution.

CASTING

International pop star Tove Lo is set to make her acting debut in the upcoming feature “The Emigrants” from leading Swedish production company SF Studios.

The singer of global hits such as “Habits (Stay High),” “Talking Body” and “Cool Girl” will play Ulrika in director Erik Poppe’s update of Vilhelm Moberg’s classic novel “The Emigrants,” previously adapted for the big screen in 1971 when Jan Troell’s version was nominated for five Academy Awards.

She will be joined by actors Lisa Carlehed (“Until We Fall,” “The Rain”) and Gustaf Skarsgård (“Vikings,” “Westworld”), who will lead a cast with big shoes to fill. The 1971 version starred Max von Sydow and earned Liv Ullmann a Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar nod.

SF Studios will distribute in the Nordics with REInvent International Sales handling global sales.

APPOINTMENTS

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Christian Wikander
Credit: HBO Nordic

HBO Europe has announced the appointment of Christian Wikander as the company’s commissioning editor and VP of original programing at HBO Nordic. Based out of Stockholm, he will report to exec VP of original programing Antony Root. In the role, Wikander will handle all Nordic development and production for HBO Europe.

He joins the company from Twelve Town, where he started as head of drama before being promoted to managing director. Before that he worked at Swedish broadcaster SVT where he commissioned and executive produced major international series such as “The Bridge” and “Real Humans.”

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Australian broadcaster ABC has appointed programmer Roberta Allan as its head of content curation and distribution within its entertainment and specialist division.

In the role, she will manage the delivery of Australian content across the company’s multiple channels and platforms such as ABC TV, ABC iview, ABC listen and the company’s social media profiles. She will also handle distribution of all non-news original content and acquisitions for the broadcaster while working to attract new audiences

Allan comes to ABC from BBC Studios, where she was head of advertising and programming for factual and kids content in Australia and New Zealand. There, she oversaw family programming for the company’s channels BBC Earth, CBeebies and BBC Brit.

MARKETS

Conecta Fiction Reboot, Spain’s up-and-coming international TV meet-market, has announced keynote speakers for September’s hybrid on-site/digital event held in Pamplona.

Leonardo Aranguibel, production director at Disney Media Distribution LatAm, Us Hispanics; Domingo Corral, head of original production at Movistar Plus; Montse García Alvarez, director of fiction at Atresmedia; Fernando López-Puig, director of content at Spanish broadcaster TVE; César Benítez,  executive producer and CEO at Plano a Plano; Vanessa Garde, musical composer for film and television; David Beriain, director and founder of  93 Metros; and director Felix Viscarret, who helmed four episodes of HBO Spain’s highly anticipated drama series “Patria.”

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Domingo Corral and Leonardo Aranguibel
Credit: Conecta Fiction

Also included in this year’s programming are the financing focused Conecta Fiction Cross-Talks, four pitching session featuring 28 projects, a roundtable focusing on audience and data analysis presented by Nielsen Media Lab’s Harry Brisson, and four Rebooting the Audience presentations where the state of the industry is discussed by panels of experts.

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Reed Midem has announced that Mip Cancun will go entirely digital this year, supported by its new Mip Cancun Online+ platform.

In addition to a full slate of online conferences, this year’s modified event will offer targeted, pre-scheduled meetings between international distributors and potential buyers from across Latin America. Producers will also be given the opportunity to meet with commissioners from across the Americas as well as potential co-producers.

Running Nov. 17-20 this year’s highly curated event will be in stark contrast to previous editions. Mip Cancun has historically been one of the emerging Latin American industry’s key networking events, where circumstantial meetings in a hotel lobby or around the dinner table can turn into lucrative partnerships.

FIRST LOOK DEAL

Banijay Rights has signed a first-look deal with U.K. independent production company Nineteen11, giving Banijay exclusive access to the company’s range of original programming in documentary, factual entertainment and unscripted.

The first series Banijay will pick up in the deal include Channel 4 programs “The Pet Talent Agency: Barking Mad” and “Swingers.” Previously, Banijay represented Nineteen11’s “The Posh Frock Shop,” selling it in more than 50 territories.

In addition to his work with Nineteen11, CEO and executive producer Brian Hayes has an impressive TV resume including hits such as Channel 4’s “First Dates” and Channel 5’s “GPs: Behind Closed Doors.”

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