As part of its Showcase, Passion Distribution announced a selection of programmes slated for Spring 2021. Featuring a collection of landmark true crime documentaries including ITN Productions’ The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews (3 x 60’) as well as aspirational, new lifestyle programming Lap of Luxury: Ultimate Escapes Down Under (10 x 30’) and factual entertainment series Secrets of the Transport Museum (10 x 30’).
From ITN Productions comes a series of landmark crime documentaries exploring some of the most notorious crime cases of recent years. Documentaries include The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews (3 x 60’), The Wests (3 x 60’), The Killing of James Bulger (3 x 60’) and The Railway Murders (3 x 60’). Told by those who lived it, some speaking for the very first time, each documentary features exclusive witness testimonies, rarely seen archive and first-hand accounts from the police and community involved. Cinematic in scope and featuring first-person narratives from those involved in cases, these are the definitive films of crimes that continue to shock and fascinate. The documentaries were commissioned by Channel 5. The Disappearance of Shannon Matthews aired as two episodes on Channel 5 on 10th and 11th February and reached an average of 2.4million/ 12% share of all adults across the two episodes, up 102% on slot average.
Documentary Murder in a Small Town (2 x 60’) re-examines the case against Luke Mitchell. In the summer of 2003, 14-year-old schoolgirl Jodi Jones was brutally murdered in a quiet Scottish town. In a shocking twist, her killer was revealed to be her 14-year-old boyfriend, Luke Mitchell. Now, 17 years after the murder of Jodi Jones, the documentary re-examines the case against Luke Mitchell. Was an innocent child wronged by the criminal justice system, and could this be Britain’s most shocking miscarriage of justice? Produced by Firecracker Films for Channel 5.
Lifestyle series Lap of Luxury: Ultimate Escapes Down Under (10 x 30’) reveals the luxury lodges of New Zealand and Australia. Steeped in history, natural beauty and architectural magnificence, each lodge has a story of its own. The series features the wonderfully warm and colourful characters who imbue each lodge with personality and charm. Revealing the deep connection they have with their place of wonder each episode reveals untold beauty and heart-warming stories. Produced by Screentime NZ for TVNZ. Episode 1 which aired 16th February and Episode 2 which aired 23rd February on TVNZ achieved over 30% share and won the slot for all key demos including 18-49 year-olds.
Factual entertainment series Secrets of the Transport Museum (10 x 30’) goes behind the scenes at the Brooklands Museum in England and follows the skilled and enthusiastic volunteers who work to preserve the array of historic racing cars, motorbikes and aeroplanes that have a permanent home at the museum. Brooklands was the birthplace of motor racing – the site of the very first British Grand Prix – and the museum is one of the most important heritage sites for auto and aviation engineering in the world. Produced by Middlechild Productions for Yesterday (UKTV).
Big Ben: Rebirth of the World’s Most Famous Clock (1 x 60’) follows the massive restoration project on London’s iconic clock tower which began in 2017. A marvel of Victorian engineering, the mechanical clocks and bells are being taken apart and painstakingly repaired, while the roof and stonework is repaired. In the latest film, architectural historian Anna Keay encounters the first big reveals, as parts of the massive project are completed. The huge clock faces and the magnificent gilded roof are restored to their original 19th Century glory. ITN productions produced for Channel 4.
In gameshow Master Minds (AKA Best Trivia Show Ever) three challengers take on some of the greatest minds in trivia, including Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings, in this exciting showdown of smarts and strategy. The last contestant standing will face off against the episode’s highest-scoring Master Mind in a head-to-head battle for the chance to win big and return to compete again. U.S. version hosted by Brooke Burns (Dog Eat Dog, The Chase, Shallow Hal). Produced by Game Show Network for Game Show Network.