Austria’s ORF Joins Big Budget Central Europe Drama Series ‘Rise Of The Raven’
The shoot for big-budget Central European drama Rise of the Raven (working title) is underway near Budapest in Hungary, with Australian pubcaster ORF the latest to join the series as a co-producer. Produced by Robert Lantos (Sunshine, Johnny Mnemonic), the multi-million dollar series is being billed as “the most epic Central European television production of all time.” It stars Hungary’s Gellért L. Kádár as Janos Hunyadi, the army commander who defeated the vast Ottoman troops in the Battle of Belgrade in 1456. Vivien Rujder plays his life partner Elizabeth Szilagyi in a widely international cast. Also featuring are Austria’s Laurence Rupp (Babarians), Cornelius Obonya (Maria Theresa), Murathan Muslu (Breaking Point), Czech actor Karel Roden (Bourne Supremacy, Mr. Bean, The Pleasure Principle), Serbia’s Rade Serbedzija (Batman Begins, Mission: Impossible II) and Italian actors Italy’s Francesco Acquaroli (Fargo, Suburra), Thomas Trabacchi (Studio Battaglia) and Elena Rusconi (6 Underground). Balázs Lengyel (HBO’s Golden Life) is showrunner and writer along with George Mihalka, Balázs Lovas, Zsófia Ruttkay, Attila Veres, and Bán Mór, whose best-selling series of novels the series is based on. Serendipity Point Films, Twin Media, HG Media, MR Film and Beta, which distributes the show, are the co-producers. TV2 will air it in Hungary and Slovenia, with ORF broadcasting it in neighboring Austria.
Germany’s SAT.1 Remakes Italian Format ‘Back To School’
German broadcaster SAT.1 has remade Mediaset Distribution’s Italian format Back to School. Local producer Cheerio Entertainment has produced the German show, titled Zurück in die Schule, ahead of a debut on August 24. German presenter Jörg Pilawa will host the primetime entertainment show. Back to School sees four celebrities face real elementary school exams, one they have prepared for during a summer camp with students taking on the role of no-nonsense teachers and another ‘surprise’ subject. Mediaset Group’s distribution arm launched the format at MipTV after it debuted in Italy on Italia 1 and secured an above average share. “Everyone likes the idea of mini-teachers having to do with celebrities in an entertaining reversion of roles. After lockdown and sad things continuing to happen, a show that reunites family and target groups of all ages for a good moment of relax and fun. I guess we really need it,” said Claudia Marra, who handles the format rights for Mediaset Distribution.