Skip to content
  • International Documentary Buyer's Guide 2014-15

Leftfield Entertainment: The Snapshot After the Acquisition, 2014 (1 of 2)

2014 September 4
by Peter Hamilton

This week and next: the Leftfield Entertainment Snapshot, 2014: How many hours? What are the shows? Which networks are buying? And where is the growth? Most of us were stunned when Leftfield Entertainment, the force behind the History hit Pawn Stars was recently acquired by ITV Studios at a valuation of $450 Mn. The Rise and Rise of Leftfield Entertainment [...]

Inside POV (2/2): The Filters & Selection Process. Your Odds of Success?

2014 August 19
by Peter Hamilton

We continue our coverage of POV, the flagship PBS documentary strand with a peak audience of 1.9Mn viewers. In this post: What is POV’s selection process, from Open Call to Offer? The Filters. Timeline? Who decides? What are your odds? Also: links to POV 2014 selections. SELECTION PROCESS Filters: Great non-fiction storytelling. Address social issues and issues neglected [...]

Inside PBS’s POV Documentary Strand (1/2): How Many Greenlights? The Fees? Budgets? And Rights?

2014 August 13
by Peter Hamilton

POV is the flagship PBS strand for ‘authored’ documentaries. We caught up with POV’s Executive Producer Simon Kilmurry in DUMBO, a short walk from my office along the East River and under the Brooklyn Bridge. Following is our updated coverage of the key POV metrics, processes and timelines. Impact! In its 26 seasons, POV has racked up an [...]

China’s Documentary Channel Financial Problems: More Context

2014 August 8
by Peter Hamilton

The ‘financial problems’ at CCTV that we reported last week relate to the “branding” of programs. “Branding” in China refers to: The financing by a brand of a production that has the editorial mission of presenting the brand positively. Example: ‘Inside the Porsche F1 Racing Team.’ The attachment of a sponsor message and product placement to [...]

CCTV9-China Doc Channel Exec Arrest. My Takeaways: ‘Flies’ vs ‘Tigers’ or ‘Elephants vs the Grass’

2014 August 3
by Peter Hamilton

The detention under suspicion of corruption of CCTV-9 Documentary Channel director Liu Wen last week is still causing aftershocks. Here are my initial Takeaways: That’s Respect! I first met Liu Wen at a quayside café in La Rochelle just before Sunnyside of the Doc 2011. He entered the café with his team, and all the [...]

China Corruption Bust: CCTV9 Doc Channel Director Liu Wen Arrested for Programming Graft

2014 August 1
by Peter Hamilton

From Caixin Online, Beijing. The Communist Party’s anti-graft campaign has brought down another executive at China Central Television, the country’s state broadcaster, one who was responsible for a widely popular food show. Liu Wen, director of the CCTV-9 documentary channel, was taken away by prosecutors on July 30, sources with knowledge of the matter said. [...]

Update: Mercury Media’s Tim Sparke

2014 July 30
by Peter Hamilton

Our very brave friend Tim Sparke wrote from London today that he is ‘fighting for life’ after surgery. He is out of recovery in intensive care, but his ‘prognosis not good.’ Tim was diagnosed with brain cancer a little more than two years ago. He and his young family have been in our thoughts and prayers ever [...]

UK Nonfiction Hits, 2014: Beckham Bends One Into the Top 10

2014 July 24
by Peter Hamilton

The latest UK unscripted viewing data is always a pleasant surprise for this US-based viewer. The quality and eclectic mix stand out year after year. There is a thriving appetite for nonfiction programs across genres and formats. They include obs docs, hosted series and specials, Blue Chip Wildlife, popular Science, high end Lifestyle, Travel, and [...]