Fremantle International Distribution is looking to expand the global reach of its Jamie Oliver franchise with the launch of Jamie's Great Italian Escape(6 x 30-minutes) at Mipcom.
Fremantle International Distribution is looking to expand the global reach of its Jamie Oliver franchise with the launch of Jamie's Great Italian Escape(6 x 30-minutes) at Mipcom.

Produced by Oliver's Fresh One Productions, the new series launches on Channel 4 this October and comes hot on the heels of reality hit Jamie's School Dinners, the broadcaster's highest rated new series of 2005.

"This is a little bit more travelogue meets recipe-based show," says David Ellender, managing director of FID. "This is far broader in its entertainment base and we think it will find a wider audience for Jamie and probably take him beyond the 43 markets we have him positioned in."

Fremantle has already sold Oliver's Twist, a co-production with Food Network in the US, to 45 licensees and Jamie's Kitchento 35. RTL2 in Germany has now aired four Jamie Oliver series, while Australia's Network Ten acquired Jamie's Kitchenand Oliver's Twistlast year.

Besides Fresh One, Fremantle will also bring a number of series from other UK indie producers to the market, including Atlantic Productions' big budget documentary Hannibal: Enemy of Rome, a co-production for National Geographic and Five, Brook Lapping's historical documentary Catherine the Great, and a second series of Pioneer's Naked Science.

As for its own productions, there will be new series of Talkback's The Sex Inspectors, as well as the latest American Idoland new BBC2 format Bring Your Husband To Heel, but Ellender is keen to highlight the company's growing portfolio of indie suppliers.

"There is still a lot of work that we have to do to perhaps make international buyers aware that the Communications Act changed the distribution game here in the UK," he says. "I think it's very important that the producer brand is very prominent in anything that we do."

Rounding out the company's Mipcom slate are two new US reality series - Project Runway, from Miramax, and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, from Mark Burnett Productions in association with Trump Productions. "US reality is a very strong area for us," says Ellender. "Clearly the US independent producers are looking for an international distributor of scale and we can provide that."