Documentary Business

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TLC’s ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’ / More Takeaways from Sheffield

TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley reviews Sarah Palin’s Alaska. She says ‘it’s like The Sound of Music but without the romance, the Nazis or the music.’  Created by super-producer Mark Burnett Productions, it was reported that Palin asked for $1.2 million / episode for the 8-episode series. ———————————————— Sheffield Impressions ROSS […]

Canada / U.S. Coproductions: Extending the Tax Benefits of ‘Twinning’

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has made it easier for U.S. producers to benefit from Canada’s favorable tax framework. The change relates to Canada/U.S. coproductions, or ‘Twinning’. We contacted Richard Hanet, a former Alliance Atlantis attorney who has worked on numerous ‘twinning’ projects, including with Discovery and AETN.  The following notes were taken

Netflix 2024: What You Need To Know Now!


U.S. Factual Networks: Who’s Hot? Who’s Not!

How are they doing? We invited John Morse, president of the research firm Byron Media to help us assemble a snapshot of how the top U.S. factual channels have gained or lost prime time audience this year. Our list is not apples-to-apples: It includes channels that are dedicated to Docs and Unscripted, for example Nat Geo

Our ESPN Tour / MTV After Jersey Shore: Going Scripted? / ‘Indecency’ Tops TV’s Morality Cops

Our ESPN  Tour: Touchdown in Bristol! On Tuesday, ESPN’s senior technology team kindly conducted us on a tour of their astounding Bristol CT facility. Our client: Turkey’s Samanyolu Broadcasting Media Group, and its U.S. affiliate EBRU. What did we learn? We write a lot here about ‘scale’ Scale really matters in business … and its leverage leaps out at you in

A Preferred Producer: Hoff Productions between Basement and Buyout (Part 2/2)

In this week’s DocumentaryTelevision.com – we continue our detailed profile of Hoff Productions’ path from freelancer to a leading supplier to U.S. factual channels, including Discovery and NGC. The story so far: Michael Hoff begins from a base in a spare room. He develops a respectable client list for Hoff Productions. But catastrophe always lurks around the

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Discovery 3D Friends Wildlife; Netflix Soars; BBC Cuts

DISCOVERY’s 3D CHANNEL The 3D cable network, a joint venture between Discovery, Sony and IMAX revealed its initial wildlife-friendly programming lineup. Original Series include: Abandoned Planet from Flight 33 Productions; Africa in 3D from Aquavision Television Productions; China produced by Natural History New Zealand Ltd. (NHNZ); and Jewels of the World also from NHNZ Exclusive

A Preferred Producer: Hoff Productions between Basement and Buyout (Part 1/2)

The scale of factual producers ranges from basement operators to ‘Super-preferred Producers’ like Pilgrim Entertainment. We continue our case studies of the U.S. production sector by focusing on Hoff Productions, which represents the tier below the ‘Super’ category. Hoff Productions is based in the Bay Area, with a recently opened office in New York, and is