Channel 4’s controversial factual series Benefits Street is one step closer to going global.
FremantleMedia has acquired the distribution and format rights to the series in all territories excluding the UK and North America. FMI plans to shop both the original UK series and the format to international buyers at MIPTV. It will be joined on FremantleMedia’s MIPTV slate by Ugly, a re-telling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame from writer/director Roland Joffé.
Produced by Love Productions, Benefits Street explored the reality of life on benefits for the residents of one of Britain’s most
welfare-dependent streets. The series, though sparking much controversy and a large number of complaints, proved to be a rating hit, with a peak audience of 6.5 million viewers. Channel 4 are also developing a second season of the factual series.
“I’m a huge fan of this show. It is a noisy, gloves-off, groundbreaking reality series that at times is touching and heartwarming”, said Rob Clark, FremantleMedia’s Director of Global Entertainment Development. “It covers a social issue that affects us all and cannot be ignored. I watched it on Channel 4 and am proud to launch it internationally at MIPTV.”
While Richard McKerrow, Chief Executive of Love Productions, added: “Benefits Street caused a huge stir when it was broadcast in the UK, engaging record-breaking audiences in serious social issues. We are delighted to be working with FremantleMedia and very excited to be bringing this show to the international market.”