Passion Distribution Gears Up for MIPTV


LONDON: At MIPTV 2016 Passion Distribution is presenting a lineup of new and returning entertainment and lifestyle series, among other titles, including the reality show Deadliest Pests Down Under.

Deadliest Pests Down Under follows a group of British pest controllers as they take on a summer of bug busting in Australia, working alongside their Aussie counterparts. “The toughened Aussies have seen it all before and delight in putting the Brits through their paces with hilarious results,” says Elin Thomas, the director of global sales at Passion. The show is a co-production between Passion Distribution and broadcaster UKTV, and is produced by Popkorn TV.

The company’s slate also features the new lifestyle series Charlie Luxton’s Homes by the Med, which sees the titular designer travel from Spain to Greece exploring the Mediterranean’s fascinating architecture. There is also the third season of Charlie Luxton’s Homes by the Sea. The series follows Luxton as he visits fishing towns, isolated hamlets and resorts in search of interesting homes. Both series are produced by True North productions for MORE 4.

Other factual-entertainment series on Passion’s MIPTV slate include Find It, Fix It, Flog It and The Great Escapers. Find It, Fix It, Flog It sees hosts Henry Cole and Simon O’Brien compete against each other to select items such as old motorbikes or tea pots to be restored for the largest amount of money possible, with all proceeds going back to the owner of the object. The Great Escapers, meanwhile, airs as A New Life in the Sun on Channel 4 in the U.K. and follows a group of ex-pats who are establishing themselves in foreign countries to pursue their dream of living the good life under the sun.

The company is also promoting Lookalikes, featuring a talent agency dedicated to celebrity doppelgängers. Thomas calls it a “totally unique new comedy.” She adds: “Some of the lookalikes get so ‘in character’ that they actually forget their own identity, which leaves the viewer wondering who’s really who and what’s really real.”

The competition series Robot Wars, meanwhile, had nine seasons air between 1998 and 2004, and the show has been rebooted with an emphasis on updated robotic technologies. Passion Distribution is selling the 6×1-hour BBC Two version, as well as the format rights for the series.

There is also the new game show Gay for Play, hosted by RuPaul. The trivia game show sees a panel of six celebrities help two contestants answer questions about pop culture in hopes of winning prizes and more than $5,000 in cash. Gay for Play is a World of Wonder production for Logo.

Another highlight on Passion’s slate is Skin Wars: Fresh Paint, also hosted by RuPaul. The show sees three artists leave their comfort zones to compete in body painting for the first time. The company is also offering the third season of the competition series Skin Wars, which sees contestants go head-to-head in body-painting challenges.