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PBS Boards ‘Pompeii: The New Dig’ as All3Media Intl. Signs New Deal for Lion Television Project (EXCLUSIVE)

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Leading independent distributor All3Media Intl. has signed a key deal for Lion Television’s upcoming premium factual series “Pompeii: The New Dig” as PBS joins the project, commissioned by BBC Two, as co-producer with Arte France, and acquires broadcast rights for the U.S.

From the creators of “Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb” and “Saving Venice,” “Pompeii: The New Dig” follows the biggest excavation of Pompeii in a generation. The series, with three hour-long episodes, will broadcast this year. It was originally commissioned by BBC Two in the U.K. and is co-produced with Arte France, in association with All3Media Intl.

“Told through cinematically filmed stories of discovery, with a compelling cast of archaeologists and experts, ‘Pompeii: The New Dig’ is set to reveal a wealth of buried secrets and unsolved mysteries that are waiting to be discovered beneath the volcanic ash,” according to a statement. “With exclusive access to the present-day archaeological and forensic investigation, it also reveals new discoveries of what happened to named survivors, tracing their modern-day descendants living in Italy through an unprecedented genetic portrait of Pompeii.”

In the excavation, archaeologists uncovered a fresco that looked – surprisingly – like a pizza. This artwork, dating back 2,000 years, was discovered in the Regio IX section of Pompeii’s archaeological park, near Naples, where pizza originated. It was found on a wall in what seems to have been a hallway of a house, possibly connected to a bakery.

“Pompeii: The New Dig”
Courtesy of Lion TV & All3Media International

The new series will premiere on BBC Two in the U.K. on Monday April 15 at 9.00-10.00 p.m. BST and on PBS in the U.S. on May 15 at 10.00-11.00 p.m. ET on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS App. Additional episodes will air on May 22 and 29.

Jennifer Askin, senior VP North America at All3Media Intl., commented: “Infused with Lion Television’s trademark cinematic values and immersive storytelling, ‘Pompeii: The New Dig’ will take us right to the heart of a moment in history that has always fascinated audiences around the world. And by ensuring local experts play a central role, Lion Television is bringing true authenticity to the series, giving viewers a unique opportunity to join the archaeologists as they unearth more thrilling finds and add even more depth to the incredible story of Pompeii and its people.”

Diana El-Osta, senior director, multiplatform programming and development, PBS, said: “The recent excavation is unveiling valuable insights into Pompeii, showcasing there’s still much to discover. PBS viewers will get to join in on an intriguing 2,000-year journey, spanning from Pompeii’s ancient homes to the present day, and we can’t wait for them to watch.”