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Press release from Ovation, April 9, 2018:

Banijay Rights, the leading distribution arm of Banijay Group, has licensed a package of more than 65 hours of programming to Ovation, America’s only arts network.

The high-volume deal sees two seasons of Story Vault Films’ Portrait Artist of the Year and two seasons of Landscape Artist of the Year, both originally produced for Sky Arts in the UK, making their US debut. The long-running competitions, which whittle down the nation’s most gifted painters to find the country’s most talented portrait and landscape artists, have rated highly in the UK, with Portrait Artist of the Year becoming the most-watched programme ever for Sky Arts, delivering five times the slot average, and Landscape Artist of the Year attracting 60% above the channel’s slot average.

Ovation has also secured the rights to IWC Media and Group M Entertainment’s Fake: The Great Masterpiece Challenge (8 x 1 hour, Sky Arts).

From Banijay Rights’ scripted portfolio, Ovation has acquired the original action-adventure procedural crime drama, The Pinkertons (22 x 45′), produced by Rosetta Media and Buffalo Gal Pictures. Long before the FBI, the Pinkertons were the most feared law enforcement organisation in the US, and the show follows founder Allan Pinkerton, his son, William, and America’s first female detective, Kate Warne, as they solve crimes throughout the ‘Wild West’ of the 1860s. The show has also aired on UKTV and CHCHTV Canada where it tripled and doubled its slot average respectively.

Scott Woodward, EVP of Programming at Ovation, said “Ovation has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Banijay Rights over the years, which has brought such great programming as Versailles and Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty to the US for the first time. Both Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year premiered on Ovation as well and were hits with our viewers. Additional seasons of these series, along with Fake and The Pinkertons provides us with a well-rounded package that fits squarely within our arts-focused programming remit.”

Andreas Lemos, VP Sales & Acquisitions for North America at Banjay Rights, added, “We’re delighted to deliver a large volume of premium content to Ovation, which is a driving force for cultural programming in the U.S.”

About Portrait Artist of the Year:

Amateur and professional artists from all over the nation are invited to submit their self-portraits. From thousands of applications, 9 artists per episode are chosen to paint the portraits of famous sitters – anyone from TV and film stars to athletes, politicians and authors. The talented contestants face against-the-clock challenges and at the end of each episode, the judges decide on the best portrait. The famous sitter also picks their favourite painting to keep. The winner of each episode will go on to compete in the semi-finals and if successful – the final. The series winner earns a commission to paint a famous person for the permanent collection of a national art gallery. With painters specialising in a wide range of media, the quality of portraiture is truly outstanding. Who has got what it takes to become Portrait Artist of the Year?

About Landscape Artist of the Year:

Amateur and professional artists from all over the nation are invited to submit their landscape paintings. From thousands of applications, six artists per episode are chosen to paint breath-taking locations all around the country – from beautiful wildlife to historical buildings and landmarks. The talented contestants face against-the-clock challenges and, at the end of each episode, the judges decide on the best work. The winner of each episode will go on to compete in the semi-finals and if successful – the final. But they aren’t the only ones trying to catch the judges’ eye. Up to 50 more artists will descend on each location to try their luck as wild cards, and if they impress they could also see themselves in the semi-final and beyond. Who has got what it takes to become Landscape Artist of the Year.

About Fake: The Great Masterpiece Challenge:

Art factual entertainment series that requires members of the UK public to visit art galleries and spot masterpieces that have been replaced by fakes. The series follows members of the public of all ages and experience as they use their detective skills to spot seven copies hanging on the walls of galleries in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester. Those who correctly identify the fakes are then in with a chance of being invited to take part in the series finale and win a specially commissioned copy of their own. Each episode explores a particular period of British art, featuring interviews with curators and contemporary artists.

About The Pinkertons:

Long before the FBI and the Secret Service, the Pinkertons were the most feared law enforcement organization in the US. Experts in undercover operations and masters of disguise, no one ever saw them coming! Set in a wild and young America, original action adventure crime procedural series The Pinkertons follows founder Allan Pinkerton, his son, William, and America’s first female detective, Kate Warne, as they solve crimes throughout the ‘Wild West’ of the 1860s. William is the shoot-first-ask-questions-maybe kind of guy, while Kate is a brilliant forensics expert, and master of undercover work. The two of them mix like lantern oil and creek water. Where Kate believes thoughtful analysis and forensic technology is what it takes to solve crimes, William lives by the words his father taught him: to catch a criminal, you have to think like a criminal. Over the course of the first season, what they learn is that, to catch a criminal, it takes both brains and bravery. Based on actual cases from the Pinkerton archives, each episode follows the Pinkertons as they utilize a mix of burgeoning forensic technology, undercover work, and plain old fisticuffs to get their man – or woman. The Pinkertons was created by Kevin Abrams and Adam Moore.

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Source : http://www.tvweek.com/in-depth/2018/04/u-s-arts-network-ovation-buys-multi-genre-package-from-banijay-rights-totaling-more-than-65-hours/

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