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ITV MAKES DRAMA APPOINTMENTS
Helen Ziegler has been appointed as U.K. broadcaster ITV’s senior commissioning editor. She will take up the role at ITV Drama in January 2024, following her maternity leave. She is currently director of television at award-winning producer Mammoth Screen and has credits including Peter Bowker’s “World on Fire” for BBC One, recent Agatha Christie adaptations by Sarah Phelps for the BBC One and Hugh Laurie’s “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans” for BritBox UK.
ITV also announced that Helen Perry is joining as commissioning editor, drama, in January 2023, for a fixed-term year contract, to further support the expanded slate. She joins from the BBC, where she is currently an assistant commissioner in BBC Drama. Before joining BBC drama commissioning Perry was a script executive at Bad Wolf.
Joining too in January 2023 is Callum Dziedzic, who will become assistant commissioner, drama and comedy. He moves to the role from Patrick Spence’s studio, where he is currently a development executive.
SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND CLOSES AGAIN
The Shanghai Disneyland theme park has closed due to pandemic prevention and control measures in China’s biggest city. The related retail site Disneytown and Wishing Star Park, as well as the resort’s two hotels remain open. The park’s closure came less than a week after it had reopened and was the third time this year that it has been closed due to anti-COVID measures. While the Chinese central government has said that it is recalibrating its COVID-Zero policies, the economic impact is mounting. Other shows and conventions are being canceled. On Wednesday Frankfurt Messe halted its Automechanika convention which had been set to run Dec. 20-23 in Shanghai.
SHORT VIDEO BOOM
China’s Bilibili saw its shares surge by more than 20% on Tuesday, following third quarter results that underlined the ongoing shift in usage patterns towards short video. The company’s revenues increased by 11% to $815 million in the three months from July to September. Net losses were down 36% to $241 million as monthly average user numbers climbed by 25% to 333 million. Paying subscribers increased by 19% to 28.5 million. These stand in contrast to the flat figures reported by long-form video companies iQiyi, Tencent Video and Youku, where financial improvement are coming through cost-cutting.
BYE BYE EARTH ANIME COOPERATION
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Crunchyroll (the anime streaming platform owned by Sony) and Japanese pay-TV platform Wowow have joined forces for the development and production of anime series “Bye Bye Earth.” The show is derived from an action-fantasy novel by Tom Ubukata (“Ghost in the Shell: Arise”) and, when completed, will screen on Wowow in Japan and Crunchyroll internationally.