MIPTV: BBC Worldwide Pacts With China's CCTV for Natural History Show

The co-production deal between the two marks the third factual show to be birthed by the two partners.

BBC Worldwide, the British broadcaster's commercial arm, has inked a deal with China state broadcaster CCTV's 9 channel to co-produce Hidden Kingdoms.

Billed as "Pixar meets Life," the show from the BBC's Natural History Unit is the untold story of the natural world’s diminutive characters.

From chipmunks in North America to giant rhinoceros beetles in Tokyo and sengi in East Africa, the series looks at the challenges faced by the natural world’s mini-heroes.

CCTV 9 sealed its first ever co-production deals with BBC Worldwide last year, on science series Wonders of Life and Generation Earth, and later on natural history title Africa.

Paul Dempsey, BBC Worldwide president global markets, said the support of CCTV9 on Hidden Kingdoms "guarantees it a huge audience in China, and helps the NHU to create a memorable series that will resonate with viewers all around the world."

Liu Wen, channel director at CCTV9, also described the BBC’s Natural History Unit as "renowned as a world-leader in its field."

Added Wen: "It’s a unique project that brings something completely new to the genre, and we can’t wait to see the finished series."

BBC Worldwide has previously brokered a co-production for Wild China (known in China as Beautiful China), between the BBC’s Natural History Unit and CTV, a production company under CCTV. The series, distributed by BBC Worldwide, has been licensed to more than 160 territories around the world.