At the Realscreen Summit last week, Passion Distribution signed a multi-programming deal with National Geographic Channel (NGC) in the U.S. which will see the broadcaster air two of Passion's hit magic shows from award-winning British network UKTV. NGC-US will broadcast the new show THE HAPPENINGS and the hugely successful second season of DYNAMO: MAGICIAN IMPOSSIBLE, scheduled to premiere later this year.
In the spectacular new series THE HAPPENINGS (4 x 60'), BAFTA-nominated magicians Barry and Stuart convince unsuspecting residents in towns across the UK and U.S. that mysterious events are occurring. Through magic and illusion, the pair make the unbelievable believable and create such strange phenomena that the townsfolk are left stunned and bewildered.
THE HAPPENINGS was produced for UKTV's entertainment channel Watch and is a co-production between Crook Productions and Objective Productions, the producers of Derren Brown. The series aired in the UK throughout December 2013 and it was 16% up on slot average across its four-part run. In the launch show, named THE HAPPENINGS: ALIEN INVASION, Barry and Stuart use crop circles, abductions, and mystifying magical illusions to make the town's people believe aliens have landed. Phenomena in other episodes include a ghostly haunting and vampires.
DYNAMO: MAGICIAN IMPOSSIBLE (Season 1-4: 16 x 60' & 2 x 60' Specials) has been one of Passion's top selling shows ever, licensing into over 200 territories, and establishing magic as a must have genre for broadcasters around the world. The UKTV award-winning series follows Dynamo as he travels around the globe showcasing his jaw-dropping magic to celebrities and the general public alike. NGC will air the BAFTA-nominated second series of the hit show and have an option on further series.
DYNAMO: MAGICIAN IMPOSSIBLE has been a number one hit in South Africa, Poland, and Denmark and has smashed ratings in Australia and India. Produced by Phil McIntyre Television and Inner Circle Films for Watch, DYNAMO is currently airing on public broadcaster BBC One in the UK to great audience success, pulling in 3.75 million viewers on its first air date, up 13% on the channel's 52 week slot average. A brand new series of DYNAMO: MAGICIAN IMPOSSIBLE is currently in production and will premiere on UKTV's Watch channel later this year.
The deal was brokered by Passion's CEO Sally Miles working closely with Jonathan Newman, UKTV's Head of Programme Distribution and David Lyle, CEO of the National Geographic Channels.
Passion's Miles said
Magic is a largely untapped genre in the U.S. and we are excited to be working with internationally renowned National Geographic Channel to bring two of our best shows to American audiences. We believe they are the perfect home to showcase amazing talent and stunts.
NGC's Lyle added
These programs will continue to build upon franchises that complement our hit series Brain Games. Joining our line up which includes None of the Above and The Numbers Game, we continue to look for smart programming like this, which tests the mind in new and entertaining ways.
UKTV's Newman said
The global success of our shows proves that UKTV's continued investment in ground-breaking talent and unique programming is resonating with the international broadcast community. Both The Happenings and Dynamo: Magician Impossible are unique and bold formats and we are delighted that they are attracting loyal viewers around the world.
About Passion Distribution
Passion Distribution was officially launched by its founder and CEO, Sally Miles, in 2008. In November 2012, Passion Distribution became part of the Tinopolis Group merging with Mentorn International and increasing the catalogue to over 8,000 hours.
London based Passion Distribution now specialises in popular quality programming and formats in genres including Factual Entertainment, Reality, Documentaries, Lifestyle, Drama, Comedy and Game-shows. Passion Distribution has exclusive distribution agreements with many US broadcasters and production companies including Scripps Networks International, Sundance Channel, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Weather Channel and World of Wonder and also benefits from the relationship with all Tinopolis Group companies including Firecracker Films, Mentorn Media, A Smith & Co. Productions, Daybreak Pictures and Pioneer Productions.
The company is active in pre-selling, finding co-pro partners and deficit funding third party content.
UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers per month.
UKTV's ten imaginative channel brands - Watch, Dave, Gold, Alibi, Eden, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home and Good Food - include the most watched non-PSB channel, the most watched channel in the Factual genre and the most watched channels in the Lifestyle genre (Pay and Free). The company's most recent financial results showed a record-breaking year-end revenue of £262m, and operating profit at £71m.
UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC and Channel 4 content, and embracing technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision, TalkTalk, YouView, plus direct On Demand digital services. The network distributes its highly valued programmes to 200 territories around the world and supplies Sky with more hours of HD content than anyone else.
Now celebrating its 21st year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies.