News round-up: Red Arrow picks up Australian WW2 dramedy; Global sales for ‘Marie Antoinette’; NEO revs up Frankie Muniz NASCAR docuseries

Michela de Rossi

Red Arrow picks up Australian WW2 dramedy

Red Arrow Studios International has picked up the global distribution rights to World War Two dramedy While The Men Are Away.

The 8 x 30-minute series has been commissioned by SBS in Australia and is being produced by local production company Arcadia.

While the men are off fighting in World War Two, the people who have been excluded from power suddenly find themselves running the show. Two Women’s Land Army recruits from Sydney arrive in the country and undergo a heady course in race relations, rural politics, spirituality, sex, and personal growth – and farming. Michela De Rossi stars as Francesca, an Italian immigrant struggling to run her husband’s farm after he enlists.

SBS’ commissioning editor, Julie Eckersley, commented: “While the Men Are Away is an irreverent, witty and queer celebration of social outsiders, and the revolution of being who you really are. The extraordinary talent of Michela joining the cast puts a cherry on the top of what promises to be a truly delightful and heartwarming series.”

Marie Antoinette

Global sales for ‘Marie Antoinette’

Antenna Plus (Ant1+) in Greece, Ceska Televize in the Czech Republic, DirecTV in Latin America and Canada’s national public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada for CBC Gem (English) and ICI Télé and ICI (French) have all acquired historical drama series Marie Antoniette.

Meanwhile, RTÉ in Ireland, Sky Italia, Radio & Television Slovakia – RTVS and Viaplay across all Nordic and Baltic countries and the Netherlands, have also struck deals for the show with distributor Banijay Rights.

Produced by Banijay Studios France, CAPA Drama and Les Gens, the Canal+ Creation Originale eight-part series was created and written by Deborah Davis. It follows the story of the incredibly modern and avant-garde young queen, played by Emilia Schüle.

Frankie In The Fastlane

NEO revs up Frankie Muniz NASCAR docuseries

NEO Studios has partnered with Frankie Muniz for an all-access docuseries tracking the actor’s pursuit to achieve his life-long dream of racing NASCAR.

Frankie in the Fastlane (working title) will follow Muniz as he attempts to prove himself as a driver, competing against the world’s best stock car racers in the NASCAR-owned ARCA Menard Series. Muniz must also balance his pro career with being a new father and husband.

“Frankie put everything on the line to pursue his passion and become a professional racer. That alone is inspiring, but he also had to overcome countless obstacles – including injuries, media scrutiny and more – to get where he is today,” said NEO Studios’ head of unscripted and Frankie in the Fastlane executive producer Mike Basone.

Fireworks developing paranormal slate

Fireworks Media Group, the LA and Vancouver-based production company launched by CEO Jesse Fawcett in 2021, is developing a slate of programming in collaboration with on-camera paranormal expert Aaron Sagers (28 Days Haunted, Paranormal Caught on Camera).

Already in development is Shadow Vortex: Path of Evil, which they will be shopping at Realscreen Summit. The series follows Sagers as he leads an experiment with veteran paranormal researchers Shane Pittman and Erin Goodpipe to prove that entities have begun travelling between two notoriously evil structures.

“Fireworks is always looking to break new storytelling ground and Aaron is one of the smartest and most experienced unexplained phenomena experts in the world,” sid Jesse Fawcett, CEO of Fireworks Media Group. “When Aaron told us he had discoveries that would upend the paranormal space, we leapt at the chance to partner with him and produce these incredible stories.”

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