Banff news: Breakthrough scouts for UK partner for new Anne of Green Gables

Breakthrough wants a UK partner for its new live-action version of Anne of Green Gables.

The Canadian producer announced it was making a 13-part version of the classic book at the Banff World Media Festival. Breakthrough Entertainment executive producer Joan Lambur told TBI that it will be a coproduction and it has already pinpointed potential partners in the UK, which would allow the show to be made under the Canada-UK coproduction treaty.

She said: “We will definitely have a coproduction partner and have targeted some companies in the UK. We want to take advantage of both [UK and Canadian] talent pools.”

The book, from Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, was first published in 1908 and is regarded as a literary classic. It follows the adventures of Anne Shirley, a young girl sent to work on a farm on Canada’s Prince Edward Island. Breakthrough is working with the author’s estate. Her granddaughter, Kate Macdonald Butler told TBI she hoped the new show would bring the story to a new audience: “I hope it will be a beautiful and rich series. I think that there are two generations sitting and waiting for this.”

The TV rights previously rested with Sullivan Entertainment, which has made several series based on the books. Butler told TBI that after that deal expired, she met with several producers before settling on Breakthrough. There is scope for several series as Breakthrough has rights to more than just Anne of Green Gables she added: “Breakthrough actually has rights to eight novels (which followed the original) so we hope to do a lot more after Anne of Green Gables.”

Breakthrough said a writer for the series will be in place by MIPCOM.