Sky Studios has struck an exclusive multi-year first look deal with Tortoise Media to turn the news outlet’s podcasts into TV shows. Tortoise is highly-respected for a string of award-winning podcasts including Sweet Bobby and Hoaxed, which come from the outfit’s weekly The Slow Newscast investigative series. With access to all these podcasts, Sky Studios will collaborate with Tortoise through the development process and produce high-end TV and features across scripted and documentary. “At Tortoise, we hope that by taking the time to investigate stories and report them in full, we can get to the heart of things, and, together, we hope those stories will reach even more people,” said Tortoise Co-Founder James Harding, who used to run BBC News.
BBC Studios Natural History Unit (NHU) has unveiled a £1M ($1.1M) global talent initiative to develop and support aspiring natural history filmmakers. The three-year-long program will see locally-based production talent given training and field experience, working with NHU teams on location on the likes of upcoming BBC landmark Kingdom. There will also be an allocation of funds to ensure local language versions of NHU productions are made available for local communities. NHU Head Jonny Keeling said the investment will “reinforce our commitment to attracting and growing those exciting new wildlife filmmakers.” The news was unveiled at the Wildscreen natural history festival, coming a day after Deadline revealed the NHU has tied with My Octopus Teacher director James Reed’s Underdog Films. The NHU has been expanding hugely of late, securing commissions from the likes of Netflix, Apple TV+ and NBC.