BossaNova unveils fresh slate of original series | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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UK, Australian and Canadian indies have been given a greenlight for a number of key projects as content creation, funding and distribution company BossaNova has revealed its second slate of original productions, comprising five new and returning factual strands.
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The announcement marks the London-based company’s first creative investment since its acquisition last July by Herbert Kloiber’s Night Train Media, which gave it access to an acquisition fund with which to co-create and co-fund projects by matching the right producer with the most relevant platform or broadcaster.

At the vanguard of the new slate is Mysteries of the Ancient Dead (6 x 60’), produced by Toronto-based Go Button Media in a new partnership with commissioning broadcaster Super Channel in Canada. The series, which was co-developed with BossaNova, sets out to investigate a question that has intrigued humanity since the dawn of time: what happens to us when we die? The six-part series draws on the latest science and technology, from forensics to advanced imaging techniques, to investigate ancient civilisations’ attitude towards death and the complex, challenging and surprising relationships that existed between the living and dead.

Also new from BossaNova are two seasons (8 x 60’’ and 10 x 60’) of Extreme Tow Truckers from long-term collaborators Fredbird Entertainment. Commissioned by Seven Australia’s 7mate, with Seven.One Entertainment Group and Viasat World attached as pre-sale partners, the returning factual series looks at the tough-as-nails men who inhabit the world of extreme tow trucking – where the risks are big, but the rewards are even bigger. Armed with monster machines and million-dollar hardware capable of hauling massive payloads across perilous and inaccessible terrain, the high-stakes action centres around teams of charismatic tow truckers, who combine incredible salvage skills and super-sized problem-solving abilities.
Hidden Histories of WW2 (8 x 60’) from UK regional producer Bright Button has already secured pre-sales from Viasat World and TF1’s Histoire in France. Fronted by internationally renowned historian and broadcaster James Holland, the series takes a deep dive into the Second World War, revealing the little-known events and players who helped turn the tide in the war. Not only does it bring stories to life for a new generation of viewers, but it also draws on the latest research and analysis to enhance our understanding of the defining war of the 20th Century.

An idea from UK indie Phoenix Television, with early-stage funding from BossaNova, Murder: First on Scene (10 x 60’, pictured) was produced for CBS Reality and is now airing on the channel in the UK. The series examines the tireless work that crime experts — from detectives, forensic officers and medical examiners to cyber security experts, entomologists and prosecutors — must undertake to bring the perpetrators of murder to justice. Investigated through the eyes of those first on scene, the series follows the timeline of 10 real-life murder cases, revealing the intricate nature of investigations and the ingenious methods used to catch killers.

Finally, in a recently announced partnership with fledging UK factual production company Content Kings, BossaNova is launching documentary series Secrets of the Lost Liners, with pre-sales from Sky History in the UK and SBS in Australia, which charts the triumphs and tragedies of the 20th century’s most beguiling mode of transport. With the help of experts, each episode tells the story of a magnificent ship lost through war, disaster or human error. The Queen Elizabeth, Normandie, Andrea Doriaand Rex—are just some of the fabled and fabulous ships that now lie on the ocean floor, like huge underwater museums.

Commenting on the new slate, BossaNova chief executive officer Paul Heaney said: “BossaNova was founded to ‘curate a slate’ of premium documentary and factual projects that tell important stories to global audiences; projects that are produced collaboratively, some limited run or at volume but to the highest creative standards in both cases. This slate of BossaNova Originals illustrates that distributor as a commissioning platform is in very rude health and can deliver, thanks to the creative and commercial backing of Night Train Media and our own network of relationships. And watch this space: there’s plenty more to come across an even broader base of genres.”