BossaNova Co-Finances Ottoman Empire by Train


BossaNova Media and Channel 4 have joined forces to co-finance Spark Media’s new premium history series Ottoman Empire by Train.

The five-part series, a follow-up to Ancient Egypt by Train, follows professor Alice Roberts as she takes to the railways to learn about the Ottoman Empire, providing viewers with bite-sized history and travelogue experiences.

Roberts will visit locations from Adan to Konya, Ankara to Istanbul, and will meet a local expert on the Ottomans. She will take the sleeper train covering 1,600 miles from Asia to Europe, making her way up the Balkans from Sofia to Belgrade and Timisoara before eventually finishing at Budapest, the northern limit of the Ottoman Empire.

Ottoman Empire by Train has already been prebought by SBS Australia and SVT in Sweden.

“Alice relishes the chance to broaden her knowledge about these great empires from the past by talking to authentic local experts who are rooted in their communities,” said Steve Havers, managing director of Spark Media. “Alice does, of course, show these local experts great respect, but her scientific background means that she’s always pressing them for evidence and challenging traditional thought. Alice and the team can’t wait to see what adventures the train will take them on next.”

Paul Heaney, CEO of BossaNova, added, “Whatever else is happening, the new world of financing unscripted is alive and very well, and Ottoman Empire by Train is the proud follow-up to a partnership that is delivering well for all. Channel 4 as well as SBS Australia and SVT in Sweden reacted quickly to pretty when the opportunity arose, and the Spark Media team is delivering on time and to brief. When its predecessor, Ancient Egypt by Train, came through one of our Development Days last year, we were pretty confident of its success, and it’s really encouraging to see audiences agree.”