Buzzfeed announced that Paul Ricci will join the company to lead unscripted television for BuzzFeed Studios. In the role, Ricci will oversee all unscripted television programming for the company’s Hollywood arm and entire portfolio of brands including BuzzFeed, Complex, Tasty and HuffPost. Ricci will report directly to the head of studios, Richard Alan Reid.
Ricci has more than 20 years of television experience within the entertainment industry, most recently co-founding development company BoomTown Content Co. In addition to Ricci’s hiring, BuzzFeed Studios will enter into a strategic development partnership with BoomTown Content Co. to develop new unscripted television projects. Recent projects include “The Kids Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Peacock, “Who Wants To Be An Astronaut?” on Discovery and other projects in varying stages. BoomTown Content Co. will continue to be helmed by co-founder Mark Efman.
At Viacom — now Paramount Global — Ricci served as Head of Alternative Series for MTV and VH1, working on hit series including Rob Dyrdek’s “Ridiculousness,” “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” and “Hip Hop Squares.” Previously, Paul served as Head of Development & Programming for MTV2, where he developed and launched “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘n Out,” “Guy Code” and “Girl Code,” leading the channel to record growth.
Drama series “Queen Sugar,” from creator and executive producer Ava DuVernay, will premiere its seventh and final season on Tuesday, September 6 on OWN. The contemporary drama, based on Natalie Baszile’s 2014 novel of the same name, has been directed primarily by women filmmakers for its entire run, an effort spearheaded by DuVernay herself in directing the series’ first two episodes. Nearly three dozen filmmakers have made their directorial debut on “Queen Sugar.” The show is produced for OWN by DuVernay’s Array Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Bros. television. Executive producers on the series are DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Shaz Bennett.
Brat TV and Picturestart have announced a new partnership which will include co-financing and producing video podcasts spearheaded by prominent Gen Z influencers. The first series to launch under the new partnership will be Antoni Bumba’s video podcast “Reading The Stars,” a weekly chat show where she will discuss all things pop culture, astrology, TikTok, relationships and more. The premiere episode, featuring Drew Afualo, host of “The Comments Section,” will be available on YouTube and all podcast platforms on August 23rd. Additional upcoming guests include Challxn, Dylan Mulvaney, Victoria Paris and more.
TelevisaUnivision, a Spanish-language content and media company, announced that three new series, “Colapso,” “Isla Brava” and “Senda Prohibida,” and one new documentary film, “Absoluta” have started production. The four original productions will be exclusively available on Vix+, a new premium Spanish-language subscription streaming service.
“Colapso” is a Spanish-language adaptation of the French dystopian mini-series “L’Effondrement.” “Isla Brava” follows a detective who works a missing persons case centered around infidelity within that person’s family. “Senda Prohibida” is produced by Giselle González and is a modern reimagining of Televisa’s very first novela. The documentary film “Absoluta” centers on the Spanish national soccer team, an underdog tale focused on two young players entering a sports world of heightened stardom, ego and individualism. Jorge Laplace is directing the documentary, which features the main stars of the Spanish national soccer team.
UKTV’s crime drama channel, Alibi, has co-commissioned a second season of hit series”Annika” with US broadcaster MASTERPIECE and All3Media International. The critically-acclaimed series is based on the successful BBC Radio 4 drama, written by Nick Walker. The second series will see the return of Nicola Walker as Annika Strandhed, Jamie Sives as Michael McAndrews, Katie Leung as Blair Ferguson and Ukweli Roach as Tyrone Clarke. Silvie Furneaux will also return as Annika Strandhed’s daughter, Morgan.