Anonymous Content Sets Major Unscripted Development Slate; Balloon World Cup, Gastro Obscura Adaptation & Lance Bangs Music Series Among Efforts
EXCLUSIVE: Anonymous Content is aggressively bolstering its unscripted television slate with a slew of new projects including music, sports, cooking, dating and documentary series.
The company has unveiled an unscripted and non-fiction development slate featuring seven projects. It comes after the hire of former NBCUniversal exec Jessica Grimshaw as SVP of Unscripted Films, Television and Podcasts last April.
Projects include The Balloon World Cup, based on a real-life contest organized by Barcelona legend Gerard Piqué, medical scam series Death Brokers, Deepfake Dating, an adaptation of food book Gastro Obscura, Lance Bangs’ music series I Don’t Belong Here, Billie JD Porter’s It’s Different for Girls and a project about Factitious Disease Disorder (full details below).
Dawn Olmstead, David Levine and Grimshaw will executive produce the projects for Anonymous Content.
“We’re working with a world class group of directors, producers and journalists to develop unscripted projects around compelling characters, interesting worlds or ‘stranger than fiction’ stories,” said Grimshaw. “We are excited to create factual properties that embody the Anonymous ethos and brand.”
The Balloon World Cup
The Balloon World Cup is inspired by the real-life contest organized by soccer player Gerard Piqué and Spanish internet celebrity Ibai llanos. The rules of the competition are simple: players must hit a balloon upwards, and points are scored if their opponent fails to prevent it from hitting the ground. Young or old, athlete or novice, everyone is an equal competitor. However, once TV antics enter the mix – from outlandish sets to surprise competitors – the game isn’t as easy. Bard Dorros will executive produce the series for Anonymous Content alongside Kosmos Studios’ Oriol Querol (Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona) and Beyond Productions’ Michael Krupat (Pooch Perfect).
Death Brokers is a co-production with Antica Productions and Telltale Industries, based on research from journalist Jacques Peretti, which follows the story of three charismatic brothers, who, when they manage to pull off the biggest medical scam in US history, become unforgivable criminals to some, but inadvertent heroes to others. Stuart Coxe and Kathleen Goldhar will executive produce for Antica and Jago Lee on behalf of Telltale.
Deepfake Dating, executive produced and directed by Chris Moukarbel (Gaga: Five Foot Two), is a new kind of dating show that gives you a window into your future relationship before asking, would you take the next step? In each episode, the host presents one guest with two potential relationship partners. But, before they choose which person to go out on a date with, they’ll first watch a simulated – deepfake, version of their potential future together. In this way, the guest decides which potential relationship they would like to pursue by peering through a window of possible compatibility and relationship outcomes.
Gastro Obscura, based upon the New York Times best-selling book, is a new kind of cooking show. The series is a culinary odyssey into the hidden curiosities of food – a treasure hunt of culinary traditions, lost histories, and edible wonders. Food stories full of quirk, humor and heart delve into larger universal questions about what makes us human. Each episode will take viewers to immersive far-flung worlds to explore the obscure, overlooked and unknown stories that celebrate the many ways in which lives intersect with food. Director Cristina Costantini (Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado) is attached to direct the series which is being produced by Muck Media alongside Josh Foer, Doug Baldinger, and Chris Naka of Atlas Obscura.
I Don’t Belong Here
I Don’t Belong Here relives an absurd and surreal moment in the 1990s when major record labels gambled hundreds of millions of dollars on an unlikely crop of artists from way outside the mainstream. These are the stories – told by the musicians, scouts, producers and label heads – who did their best to make sense of a time that made no sense, when dope-fiending punk rock trolls swindled seven-figure advances and an anarchist Japanese noise collective wound up as labelmates with Fleetwood Mac. How did multi-national conglomerates open their checkbooks for these proudly non-commercial weirdos? What was the hangover from the last great burst of industry risk? Why did we throw in the towel and call in the Spice Girls? The series is produced by Lance Bangs, who has directed music videos for the likes of Sonic Youth and Pavement, as well as comedies including Jackass and Portlandia, and Greg Heller, a reformed music journalist turned TV showrunner (Behind The Music). Bangs will also direct.
It’s Different for Girls
It’s Different for Girls is a docuseries from filmmaker and journalist, Billie JD Porter. The former BBC and Vice reporter will explore the state of modern-day contraception, uncovering new male alternatives and the struggles in bringing them to market. Porter will executive produce and co-direct the series.
Untitled Factitious Disease Disorder Project
Sarah Delashmit repeatedly had a devastating story, she had muscular dystrophy, then breast cancer, and multiple miscarriages; she was hanging on by a thread. But the truth is it was only a story. Sarah was making it all up. This series will dig deep into the multiple facets of Factitious Disease Disorder, a predominately female illness, uncovering other women from around the world who follow a similar pattern, and make you question what’s real and what’s not. What are they doing? What do they want? And are these elaborate stunts really worth it? It goes far beyond money and the real answer will force a cold hard look at the places women find themselves in today’s society. The project is based on writer, producer, and host of USG Audio’s podcast, The Followers: Madness of Two, Sarah Treleaven’s reporting for Elle Magazine in an article published in September 2021. Anonymous Content and FunMeter will partner to executive produce the series.