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WELCOME TO DEADLINE’S FIRST LONDON TV SCREENINGS MAGAZINE
And we’re arriving just in the nick of time. In the last few years, the Screenings has quietly morphed into a must-attend event but 2023’s edition has ramped up at a rate of knots, with more than two dozen distributors pitching up. Even BBC Studios has relocated its flagship Showcase event from Liverpool to London. For many in the industry, the Screenings has become the second most important date in the TV sales calendar, behind only Mipcom Cannes. As hundreds of buyers, sellers and producers descend on the UK capital, Deadline has taken the opportunity to assess the state of play of an industry in an extreme state of flux. Mass layoffs across the pond, streaming model challenges and a cost-of-living crisis are causing major strategic rethinks and TV’s distribution community is keeping a watchful eye on developments. In our opening feature, a wealth of sales agents tell us how they’re navigating a deep recession that has only just begun. Meanwhile, we examine how premium
docs are now more in-demand than ever as buyers seek cheaper alternatives to high-end drama. We also return with our Deadline Scenesetters section, which sets out some of the biggest talking points that will dominate industry chatter across the coming week, including buyers’ penchant for reboots and a deep dive into streamers’ local approaches. And to tie it all up, we’ve profiled distributors attending the Screenings, which will give you the lowdown on who’s selling what, their strategies and where the showcases and cocktail parties are taking place. This is shaping up to be the year that cements the London TV Screenings’ place in the annual TV calendar for many editions to come, so enjoy the read. ★
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LONDON TV SCREENINGS SCENESETTERS 08 | COST OF LIVING 12 | PREMIUM DOCS 20 a BOSSANOVA,
T I A R K S E T
By Max Goldbart
With a plethora of reboots set to premiere over the coming months, the concept of originality will be a big focus at this year’s London TV Screenings.
Where popular entertainment formats are concerned, reboots have dominated the discourse at recent markets and festivals and the issue ignited a mini war of words between BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore and her Channel 4 counterpart Ian Katz at the Edinburgh TV Festival last year. Their squabble came to a head following a summer in which Big Brother, Gladiators and Survivor were all confirmed to be returning to British screens, which has since led to industry chatter about the death of original ideas.
Broadcasters are naturally more risk averse during periods of recession and settling on a fan favorite that has a readymade audience can be a very tempting choice. But there are complexities to this debate: Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, it’s important to consider how shows like Big Brother have never really stopped selling globally — which poses questions to the very nature about the reboot — while reprized scripted franchises often get left out of the conversation. ITV Studios’
Global Distribution and Entertainment boss Ruth Berry believes the success of adventure competition show The Traitors could herald a new era of originality and she is confident that “you can launch a new show and launch it well” in any territory. With distributors shopping catalogs containing both ageing juggernauts and the potential next big hit, expect the reboots conversation to continue throughout the week. ★
STREAMERS GET CREATIVE
By Jesse Whittock
One of the main byproducts of the cost-of-living crisis in the media and entertainment world has been the re-emergence of streamer co-productions. Netflix, Prime Video and other major SVoDs are exploring local projects or original deals that they would typically have only considered for worldwide rights several years ago.
Last year, Fifth Season co-CEO Chris Rice predicted pressure on media stocks would lead to more creative dealmaking, which would have been music to the ears of distributors hitting the English capital this week.
“If you didn’t have a looming recession and stock market problems, I’m not sure it would have led to collaboration,” Rice said at the time.
Rice’s forecast appears to be coming true. One distributor tells Deadline about a European streaming drama that saw its first season release globall but is currently being considered for a second run as a single market order, with rights sold off elsewhere. “That’s a completely new development,” the source says.
While plenty of new shows will remain on one global platform in 2023, the likelihood of projects taking on unusual bedfellows is higher than it has been for years. For the likes of Conversation with Friends seller Fifth Season, A Gentleman in Moscow firm eOne and the super-indies that tend to sell rights globally, it’s an attractive opportunity.
European pubcasters, meanwhile, see co-productions as a necessity and the only way to compete with global streamers for top-quality projects. At last year’s MIA Market in Rome, it emerged that Italy’s Rai, Germany’s ZDF and France Télévisions — collectively known as commissioning group The Alliance — had teamed on Bellingcat citizen journalism drama The Kollective. If the momentum around co-production is prolonged, we may just see a streamer joining one of these major projects in the near future. ★
FT LONDON TV SCREENINGS
FEELING THE PINCH
How Global TV Sales Houses Are Adapting To The Cost-Of-Living Crisis
By Max Goldbart
The cost-of-living crisis is wreaking havoc across many sectors and the global television industry is not immune.
As hundreds of buyers and sellers descend on the UK capital for the annual London TV Screenings, distributors are looking closely at how they can adapt their catalogs and work in tandem with clients in the face of the incoming recession.
However, the task is not an easy one. Numerous distributors tell Deadline they have had contingencies in place for a long time to deal with such a macro fiscal event — contingencies that came to the fore during Covid-19. These are frequently being shaped by the world around them, not just by the recession, they say.
“The ongoing strategy we have and the way we approach the market is constantly evolving,” says Ruth Berry, ITV Studios’ Managing Director of Global Distribution, who was recently promoted to lead the outfit’s combined Distribution and Entertainment arms. “Thinking about these dynamics comprises a large part of our job. There is always a bit of a lag in terms of where you think the world is at and where it’s actually at, and we have to really understand that.”
Simon Cox, EVP Content Acquisitions of Big Brother and Survivor seller Banijay Rights, has spent the past two decades learning how to deal with the “ups and
BIG BROTHER, BANIJAY RIGHTS
downs” of the global economy and applying them to the cutthroat world of TV sales.
“We are a global business operating and selling globally so this is all about being agile and adapting to local needs,” says Cox. “Being aware of what’s coming is incredibly important. How long will this recession last for? Will it be like 2020 or more like 2008?”
Producers around the world are dealing with declining budgets as broadcasters, pay-TV channels and networks rethink their spend, and this can have both positive and negative impacts on TV distribution.
While Berry urges caution in terms of overplaying the current economic situation’s impact on the market, she says her team has noticed buyers taking “a more considered approach.”
“They are seeking clarity,” she adds. “I would say things feel ‘business as usual’ but a little bit slower. Buyers are now thinking really hard about recommissions and renewals.”
Berry’s words chime with those of Sky UK Managing Director of Content Zai Bennett, who stressed a “fewer, bigger, better” approach at an event earlier this month.
With increased demand for premium documentaries, Berry’s outfit is debuting natural history content at the Screenings, picked up via its mega $126 million acquisition of Tiny World producer Plimsoll Productions.
ITV Studios will be seeking partners for natural history projects, a popular genre that is nonetheless at the pricier end of factual TV and requires co-producers in order to get off the ground. With that in mind, the global industry’s penchant for co-productions will no doubt continue long into 2023 and, on the scripted side, Berry flags the likes of Piv Bernth’s ITV Studios drama Blackwater, which was backed early on by Swedish network SVT and Germany’s ARD Degeto.
Banijay’s Cox also spies opportunities in the premium documentary space, which, while expensive, is
Opposite page: Big Brother continues to sell well.
Top: Tiny World docuseries from ITV Studios’ Plimsoll Productions. Bottom: ITV Studios’ Blackwater .
ultimately cheaper for buyers than high-end drama. Premium docs were a major talking point at last year’s Mipcom Cannes and multiple distributors have been ramping up their catalogs in response. At the London TV Screenings, Banijay will be pushing Lara vs. Escobar, about the 1984 Pablo Escobar-backed murder of Colombia’s Minister of Justice Rodrigo Lara.
“[Premium docs] are a growing slice of the market,” explains Cox. “Where traditionally you’d go for a drama, they give linear networks and streamers alike that premium feel at a slightly cheaper price point.” (For more on premium docs, read our report on page 20.)
While docs-over-drama may be one solution, Cox counters that escapist scripted fare tends to be in vogue during times of economic strife. Having a broad range of content is crucial and large distributors like ITV Studios and Banijay Rights extol the virtues of having a rich pipeline of shows from established producers.
Paul Heaney, who runs factual distributor BossaNova, says things get tougher for smaller outfits during recession era. “There may be a squeeze on new shows coming through so our pipeline slows down and it becomes more about the catalog,” he adds. “Buyers are taking less risk.”
Having an established roster of tried and tested formats helps when dealing with risk-averse buyers, Berry and Cox say, and they will be speaking to networks about formats at a variety of price points throughout the week in London.
This strategy will be a guiding light for Keshet International, according to Fleur Wheatley, the Israeli powerhouse’s VP of Sales.
In the past few months, Wheatley says networks have been “looking at our formats in a different way” and she predicts formats that can be made cheaply will dominate over expensive finished tape offerings.
FT FEATURE KESHET INTERNATIONAL
Keshet’s reality singing competition Rising Star
“Buyers are looking at how to make high-end shows more economical,” Wheatley says. “Once upon a time they would have considered a show’s budget [to be] too big, but now they are saying ‘How can we make this more cheaply?’ These evergreen, cost-effective formats are crucial.”
Wheatley cites several recent examples such as Keshet’s Rising Star and Deal With It, the former of which is being remade in the likes of Brazil, Greece and Indonesia with live components stripped back, enabling them to make the shows for 40% less than the original versions. Rising Star, many will remember, exploded into the market at Mipcom 2013 as a game-changing, high-cost format replete with LED screens and live voting technology. Wheatley says the same is true of scripted, and Keshet will also be pushing drama formats that can be picked up and made at cheaper price points.
LESSONS FROM COVID-19
Overseeing a patchwork of territories to forge a cohesive distribution strategy is made harder during a recession and Berry notes that certain territories are being impacted earlier and more brutally than others by the shifting economic headwinds.
She likens the situation to the “domino effect” of the early days of the pandemic when different countries were hit by waves of Covid-19 at different times. This, she says, saw distributors become “far better at managing these crises”.
Wheatley says the deluge of new shows that hit screens at the end of lockdown is making it harder to sell older formats. “During the pandemic it was much easier to sell and package older shows and give them new life. Now all this new content has been made and there is just so much out there. It’s great for the viewer but gives the distributor less low-hanging fruit.”
Cox, however, considers how a recession can have a positive impact for TV sellers with audiences spending more time indoors watching the small screen, while cinemas continue to be hit the hardest.
“People cut back on cinema spending or going to the pub but continue to consume media at home,” he says. “There’s definitely a shift in lifestyle that is advantageous to those selling home-based entertainment.”
In the U.S., home entertainment has been hit hard. Layoffs at tech giants, streamers and studios have been
rife across the last few months, most recently at Disney.
Last October, former Showtime Co-President of Entertainment Jana Winograde declared “belt tightening is coming” and indicated that middle and lower budget shows will be affected the most. (Winograde and fellow co-President Gary Levine subsequently had their positions eliminated in a Showtime shakeup as it moves to integrate with its sister streaming service Paramount+).
BossaNova’s Heaney says, “Budgets are being held firm for the big, noisy shows and the squeeze is coming with lower-priced stuff. From our perspective that means we’ve got to make what we have work.”
For Cox, uncertainty regarding the streaming giants is leading sellers to proceed with caution.
“People are very conscious about how factors such as the stock price of the streamers is impacting spending decisions,” he says. “Streamers’ performance is based on content spend and subscriber numbers and both are under consideration.”
Berry, however, notes that streamers like Netflix and Prime Video are “not necessarily reducing what they are spending, but just increasing spend by slightly less than before.” She also flags the growth of AVoD and FAST (free ad-supported television) channels, which can offer alternative opportunities to sales houses. “As we transition to new business models, there will be more maturation in the streaming space,” she says.
Amidst this challenging ecomonic climate, sellers continue to emanate an air of positivity as they enter one of their busiest weeks of the year. Heaney says there are “definitely green shoots” and points to the boom of production taking place across Europe, with these shows set to make their way into distributor catalogs in the coming months.
“What cost of living crisis?” jokes one distributor when considering the list of swanky events, expansive networking sessions and cocktail parties that are set to take place during the London TV Screenings.
But after the glasses are drained and buyers fly home, sales companies of all shapes and sizes will need to ready themselves for the bumpy ride to come. ★
HUNGRY FOR DOCS
How Premium Factual Distributors Are Preparing For A Bigger & Better Future
By Jesse Whittock
The last year has been a chastening one for television, with budgets nosediving and streamers pulling back on the mega-spending of yesteryear to offset revenue disappointments.
But investment in eye-catching documentary series has continued despite the threat of a global recession and the unscripted market now finds itself at a crossroads as it splinters into expensive, premium fare and lowbudget, high-volume returners.
“There’s still big appetite from commissioners,” says one prominent UK doc maker, while a German-based factual producer adds, “What’s being sold are very commercial projects — bankable names and directors.”
Dogwoof Head of Sales Cleo Veger believes there’s a bigger divide than ever between the sales of lowerbudget festival docs and premium projects. “There’s a drive towards IP and buyers are talking about fewer, bigger swings,” she says.
MISFIT ENTERTAINMENT, FREMANTLE
Fashion documentary Kingdom of Dreams from Misfit Entertainment
Projects with big names attached are commanding big bucks – Veger points to Davis Guggenheim’s Apple TV+ feature Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, which examines the life of the beloved Back to the Future actor and premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. “There’s so much competition between streamers, broadcasters and cinemas and big-name recognition helps,” she adds, noting high-profile organizations, events and sports can substitute for big-name talent in the premium docs space.
For buyers and sellers heading to the London TV Screenings this week, the challenge has become one of smart investment — is ‘going big’ still the best policy or will a more measured approach win out?
“The value of premium docs has been going up for a while and it’s because SVoDs are paying more for films,” says one source at a super-indie. “Sometimes it’s like being in an auction house: everybody wants the same story, and the bidding gets crazy. There is a correction going on as the value can’t keep going up and up — it’s unsustainable and the streamers know that.”
There is clearly still value in the unscripted market, evidenced by big-ticket acquisition deals such as Sony Pictures Television’s $350 million acquisition of Industrial Media, North Road Company’s $200 million purchase of Red Arrow Studios and Shamrock Capital paying what’s understood to be a nine-figure sum for a stake in Last Chance U maker Boardwalk Pictures. Premium factual was the driver behind ITV Studios’ $126 million acquisition of Tiny World firm Plimsoll Productions and Fremantle’s deals for The Real Elon Musk producer 72 Films ($46 million for 55%) as well as Elephant maker Wildstar Films ($13.3M for 51%). These deals certainly did not come cheap.
“Four or five years ago no one had any interest in buying documentary companies but now they are making globally popular, streaming heaven,” says one dealmaker in London. “They have to be making premium factual or BBC natural history-type shows, and then they’ll attract attention.”
Mandy Chang, Fremantle’s Global Head of Documentaries, says Netflix and other streamers have “taken on
Fremantle’s Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne
premium programing and proved there’s an audience for it,” and this support from the big players has revitalized interest in the genre, our M&A sources say.
Among Fremantle’s latest premium doc titles is Misfits Entertainment’s Kingdom of Dreams, a four-part series chronicling the fashion world over three decades in Paris Milan, London and New York. The doc exploring how fashion exploded beyond the elite fiefdoms of haute couture and style from the 1990s to the 2010’s. HBO Max has rights in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Bell Media’s Crave is on board in Canada. Fremantle retains worldwide sales.
Other key premium titles on the slate include David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s Sundance title Kim’s Video about the fate of Yongman
Kim’s legendary 55,000 rental movie library in New York City, and the talent-led Planet Sex With Cara Delevingne, the BBC Three and Hulu doc series in which the model and actress goes on a sexual voyage of discovery.
Chang is a former BBC Storyville boss with credentials in everything from indie to commercial docs. She joined Fremantle in 2021 to spearhead a push into the premium end of factual and says her company’s slate reflects a market that still relies on a wide genre spectrum. “It’s an ecosystem where different types of docs have their place,” she says. “There are only so many premium films to be made and there isn’t the talent to sustain them forever.”
rivals offers a solution. “We cooperate with many of the big companies here,” the source says. “That works well, leads to big co-productions and means we can still try to get our own access.”
All3Media International, part of the UK-based superindie group that owns the likes of Don’t F*** with Cats and The Tinder Swindler maker Raw TV as well as natural history producer Silverback Films, has taken the partnership approach in several recent premium docs projects. The distributor is shopping Kevin Spacey project Unmasked, a buzzy doc mini from indie Roast Beef Productions. It follows the life of the House of Cards actor as he prepares to face trial on several sexual assault charges in the UK.
The value of premium docs has been going up for a while
All3 Media and Roast Beef similarly teamed for 2021 doc special Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?, which examined the jailed socialite ex-partner of sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein. The series began as a 90-minute feature doc for Channel 4 but was supersized to three parts when Starz boarded the project and enlarged the budget.
“Co-production in docs was once seen as something for smaller channels but now it’s become a way to work with like-minded partners,” says Rachel Job, All3Media International’s Senior Vice-President, NonScripted. “Buyers are even saying, ‘Have you spoken to this network about this project?’”
For smaller indie producers working in premium docs, the challenge is competing financially. One German indie producer says partnering with larger domestic
All3 Media will also be debuting The Man Who Played with Fire, a big budget upcoming Sky Documentaries and Discovery+ four-part series from Raw TV about Millennium trilogy author and journalist Stieg Larsson’s
investigation into the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986.
Acquisition execs and commissioners are showing no signs of slowing at the top end of the market, Job adds, but it’s not so easy elsewhere. “Outside the premium space is a squeezed middle,” she adds. “There’s always space for cost-effective, high-volume docs but shows funded with pre-sales could become a challenge.”
Further to that, she warns that the longer-run doc series of eight episodes or more that the streamers once favored are becoming tougher to finance and sell. “Ninety-minute docs and two-, three- and fourparters comprise almost all of our premium factual slate,” she says. “To say you were investing in a 90-min doc three years ago would have been crazy, but that’s not just a theatrical sell these days, and to find a really good story over 10 episodes is really hard. We get pitched six-to-eight-parters all the time and often we’d prefer them to be three or four. Those are easier to finance, and many buyers are moving to a ‘fewer, bigger, better’ strategy.”
For Dogwoof, a stalwart of the indie docs scene, the Screenings will be a time to push titles such as Copa ’71 about the unofficial women’s soccer world cup of 1971 that was largely dismissed and written out of history by the game’s authorities. Rachel Ramsey and James Erskine, who have worked together on the likes of This is Football, Le Mans: Racing is Everything and Sachin: A Billion Dreams, will co-direct.
Up for discussion at the Screenings, Veger points out that distributors are being forced to take a long-term sales approach. Gone are the days of waiting for finished product to hit the market without a vendor attached and, as such, the company has been getting involved in projects at a much earlier stage.
“More and more, people are working directly with producers, and there’s a lot more future planning,” says Veger. “The question is not about projects selling today but whether they can sell in three or four years. How evergreen is a story, and can it stay relevant?”
For the premium documentary market, the London TV Screenings looks set to provide a snapshot of where the genre is headed. ★
Dogwoof’s Copa 71
Deadline gives you the lowdown on this year’s London TV Screenings
BY MAX GOLDBART, JESSE WHITTOCK & ZAC NTIM
Key Shows: Boat Story, The Messenger, Steeltown Murders, Unknown
Key Genres: Premium factual, scripted, formats
Strategy: All3Media’s goal for the London TV Screenings is to give key buyers an “intimate, targeted insight” into presale opportunities through the words of the producers and writers they are working with. The catalog is wide, with a wealth of drama, premium doc and formats on offer. Leading the slate is uplifting drama series The Messenger based on Markus Zusak’s novel of the same name, which will be seeking co-producing partners.
Screening: Thursday, 12.30pm-5pm, Odeon Luxe
Key Shows: Six Four, Beyond Paradise, Planet Earth III, Ancient Powers (working title), Earth
Key Genres: All
Strategy: With BBC Studios moving its annual Showcase event to London after a decade in Liverpool, there will be a focus on upstream conversations between buyers and the creative teams from the Corporation’s indie labels, production units and partners. As always, BBC high-end natural history will be eagerly anticipated, and Planet Earth III marks the third in the genre-defining franchise. It will be joined by landmark five-parter Earth, which tells the four-billion-year story of our planet and is already looking like a standout.
Screening: Mon-Tues (all day), Odeon Luxe (Scripted) & Odeon West End (unscripted)
Key Shows: This Town, Three Little Birds, Domina, The Sixth Commandment, Lara vs. Escobar, Blow Up, The Summit, Big Interior Design Battle,
Key Genres: Scripted, premium documentary, entertainment, reality, formats
Strategy: Banijay’s ever-expanding sales division will hit London with a slate of scripted and unscripted titles. More than 200 global buyers are expected at a “Banijay at BAFTA” event on March 1. Tentpole formats and dramas are driving demand and buyers will also get an exclusive peak at Banijay Rights’ premium documentary fare such as Lara vs. Escobar, as the genre becomes an increasingly vital one for global distributors. Buyers will also be able to talk with sales agents about the newly acquired Beyond International catalog.
Screening: Wednesday, 9am-12pm, BAFTA
Key Shows: Love Rat, The Spencer Sisters
Key Genres: Drama
Strategy: EOne heads to the UK capital with previews for new and upcoming series across U.S. network and cable, along with international productions. Producers, showrunners and on-screen talent will be on hand to offer insight at Picturehouse Central. Love Rat will be on display, a psychological thriller for Paramount-owned network Channel 5 starring UK drama favorites Sally Lindsay and Neil Morrissey.
Screening: Thursday, 9am-12pm, Picturehouse Central
Key Shows: Fifteen – Love, Waco: A British Tragedy, Project Icon,
Key Genres: Finished UK and international drama and non-scripted, formats
Strategy: For ITV Studios, the Screenings are about being with partners, immersing these buyers within shows, the strength of the catalog and spending time with sales teams from around the world. Buyers will for the first time be able to view Fifteen – Love, the romantic tennis drama from Line of Duty producer World Productions, along with hard-hitting docs such as Waco: A British Tragedy and a slew of formats that feature the likes of Dannii Minogue (I Kissed A Boy) and Jason Derulo (Project Icon).
Screening: Wednesday, 12.30pm-6pm, Odeon Luxe
Key Shows: Little Bird, C*A*U*G*H*T, The Queen of Crypto: Visionary, Victim or Villain?, Whale with Steve Backshall
Key Genres: Drama, factual, formats
Strategy: Fremantle is buzzing to welcome buyers to BAFTA’s recently-renovated 195 Piccadilly home this year. The RTL-owned distribution arm is busy pushing some of its most highly-anticipated titles and will be on hand with sneak peeks, talent interviews and an exclusive screening of a major scripted title. Leading the slate is Australian streamer Stan and ITVX’s C*A*U*G*H*T starring Sean Penn, as Fremantle stresses its desire to work with the biggest global stars.
Screening: Friday, 9am-12.30pm, BAFTA
LIONSGATE THE U.S.
Key Shows: Gray, Northern Lights, Paul T. Goldman
Key Genres: Premium drama, true-life stories, half hours, library titles
Strategy: The first episodes of buzzy CIA thriller Gray, starring Patricia Clarkson and Lydia West, will be screened to buyers, as Lionsgate focuses on premium drama sales. Peacock’s comedic true-crime doc series Paul T. Goldman is unlike anything else out there and is sure to attract attention. With Lionsgate execs taking a ‘something for everyone’ approach to the week, they will be honing in on clients’ needs and potential partnerships, while focusing on making the live event an entertaining, informative and must-attend experience.
Screening: Tuesday, 1pm-6pm Ham Yard Hotel, Lionsgate Cocktail Party 6pm-7.30pm
FOX ENTERTAINMENT GLOBAL
Key Shows: Animal Control, Krapopolis, Grimsburg
Key Genres: Live action comedy and animation
Strategy: Fox’s return to the global distribution game was one of the big stories at October’s Mipcom Cannes and the new Entertainment Global (FEG) offering is looking to build on this momentum in London. FEG is mainly shopping a duo of adult animations in the form of Krapopolis and Grimsburg along with upcoming sitcom Animal Control, and will be sitting down with many buyers for the first time during the five-hour Charlotte Street Hotel showcase.
Screening: Thursday, 11.30am-4.30pm, Charlotte Street Hotel
SONY PICTURES TELEVISION
Key Shows: Lucky Hank, Ten Pound Poms, The Winter King, Thanks A Million, So You Think You Can Dance
Key Genres: Scripted and unscripted formats
Strategy: Sony will attend the London Screenings with a mix of EP-led presentations for new dramas and first-look opportunities across its non-scripted and formats slate. On the big-budget Sony menu is Ten Pound Poms, a UK/Australia co-production from Danny Brocklehurst and Sex Education producer Eleven, along with now-majority-owned drama powerhouse Bad Wolf’s The Winter King adaptation.
Screening: Thursday, 5.30pm-9pm, Ham Yard Hotel
WARNER BROS INTERNATIONAL TV PRODUCTION
Key Shows: Go Hard or Go Home, Recipe for Disaster, Sing Again, FBoy Island, The Wheel, The Bachelor
Key Genres: Reality
Strategy: WBITVP is planning three hours of content from leading global networks, presented to buyers at BAFTA by the originating producers and on-screen talent – a formula that’s worked for the Warner Bros. Discovery unit multiple times in the past. Reality will be a key focus, with BBC Three’s Go Hard or Go Home – a cross between extreme physical challenge and wellbeing transformation format – among its key titles. Execs are also keen to point to reality Queens of the Jungle, which relaunched in the Netherlands recently after a 10-year break and has been a huge success on streamer Videoland.
Screening: Thursday, 9am-12.30pm, BAFTA
ABACUS MEDIA RIGHTS
Key Shows: Catch Me a Killer, The Man Who Stole the Scream, The Rise and Fall of Boris Becker
Key Genres: Returning drama, crime thrillers, entertainment, docs
Strategy: Abacus Media Rights will discuss upcoming projects, including drama and factual titles in development with a view for broadcasters to come on board in the early development stage, as well as selling high-quality finished programs from the catalog. The Rise and Fall of Boris Becker is a particular draw, with audience interest piqued in the disgraced former tennis star.
Screening: Tuesday, 7pm-9pm, Charlotte Street Hotel
Key Shows: Castle Secrets, Ancient Egypt by Train, Beauty Rewind Clinic, Animal Rescue, The Cannibal Next Door,
Key Genres: Factual
Strategy: BossaNova continues to find the niches in factual distribution and is headed into an evening event co-hosted with Sweden’s Eccho Rights – both companies are now owned by the expansive German firm Night Train Media. Buyers can expect a slate of shows including the six-part Castle Secrets, which was filmed globally, and Ancient Egypt by Train, a Channel 4 doc fronted by Alice Roberts. Heaney says the plan is to make some noise about the new releases and to have a successful shindig at The Century Club on Wednesday night.
Screening: Wednesday, 7pm-10pm, The Century Club (with Eccho Rights)
Key Shows: Inspector Singh, Love Me Season 2, Wedding Valley, Secret Nazi Bases
Key Genres: Scripted factual, high-end music programs
Strategy: DCD Media’s sales arm heads into the Screenings week with new marquee dramas and factual shows. Inspector Singh, starring Sanjeev Bhaskar as an irascible but sympathetic detective in Malaysia, is a key upcomer with multi-season potential. Factual highlights include an exclusive preview of the new season of Secret Nazi Bases. DCD Rights CEO Nicky Davies-Williams is planning for an entertaining and insightful presentation about plans for new shows launching throughout 2023, and to gain insight into changing buyer desires.
Screening: Tuesday, 4.30pm-8pm, Picturehouse Central
Key Shows: Copa ‘71, Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV, Children of the Taliban, The Experiment, Murky Skies,
Key Genres: Sport, arts, social issues
Strategy: Indie docs distributor Dogwoof has a diverse lineup for the Screenings, with completed titles, features and series projects. Topics range from ranging from political thrillers and human rights stories to art and sports biographies, with Copa ‘71, a doc from Rachel Ramsay and James Erskine about the 1971 Women’s World Cup in Mexico, a standout title. Its creators previously made Liverpool FC doc The End of the Storm. Dogwoof is promising acquisitions opportunities for all territories, with London giving the European sales house a chance to connect with buyers and explore new partnerships.
Screening: Thursday, 11.30am-4.30pm, Charlotte Street Hotel
HAT TRICK INTERNATIONAL
Key Shows: DI Ray, Payback
Key Genres: High-end scripted and factual
Strategy: Hat Trick’s distribution arm will spend the week showcasing new shows to broadcasters and platforms, stressing its range of content. The distributor is shopping mainly high-end scripted and factual fare from producers in the UK, Ireland, U.S., Australia and New Zealand, both through output deals with the likes of Keo Films and Plum Pictures or relationships with Outline, Hungry Bear and STV.
Screening: Tuesday 4pm-8.30pm, Picturehouse Central
Key Shows: The Royals: A History of Scandals, Inside the Classic Car Garage
Key Genres: Documentary, factual entertainment
Strategy: Passion’s activity in London will be centered on an annual event featuring a mix of exclusive highlights from the Spring 2023 slate along with networking sessions with clients. Tinopolis’ distribution arm is pushing Channel 4’s The Royals: A History of Scandals, the upcoming history doc series that could take advantage of buyers’ penchant to look to all things Royal Family following the Harry and Meghan documentary series and book. UKTV’s Inside the Classic Car Garage is also vintage Passion fare and could prove a big seller.
Screening: Wednesday 4pm-6.30pm, Groucho Club
ABOUT PREMIUM CONTENT
Key Shows: Wolf
Key Genres: Drama
Strategy: For its debut London TV Screenings, French distributor About Premium Content will be presenting BBC drama Wolf to the market, which is co-produced with Sherwood outfit Hartswood Films. Based on Mo Hayder’s acclaimed Jack Caffery novels, Wolf is the distributor’s major market launch and represents the essence of its ambitions: a fresh, irreverent take on crime drama with twisted humor and horror. Building on its boutique model, APC will also be looking to co-develop and talk up the virtues of its Hulu/RTÉ co-production Obituary
Screening: Wednesday, 6pm-8pm, Soho Hotel
Key Shows: Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies, See No Evil, Gladiators, Dubai: Buying the Dream
Key Genres: Drama, premium documentary, fact-ent, natural history
Strategy: Blue Ant wants to let partners know that in an economy asking us to stretch every dollar, the distributor is in the content-solution business and will work with a variety of deal models including co-productions and pre-sales to bring together financing and partners. Blue Ant will be stressing tailored solutions, collaboration and innovation during a Thursday evening event and pushing varied fare including hard-hitting true crime docs and the natural history project Gladiators
Screening: Thursday, 6pm-9pm, Dean Street Townhouse
Key Shows: Tempting Fortune, The Doll Factory, Good Morning Chuck
Key Genres: Scripted and factual
Strategy: Cineflix Rights will be introducing buyers to Tempting Fortune – the social experiment format in which strangers spend 19 days in paradise with nothing but survival gear – via a themed event featuring immersive challenges. The Channel 4-Roku U.S. format leads the slate but Cineflix will also be pushing several scripted offerings, including a sneak preview of Paramount+ drama The Doll Factory, which follows a village haunted by a dark and turbulent history and stars Samantha Morton and Ruby Stokes.
Screening: Thursday, 4pm-7pm, 100 Wardour Street
Key Shows: A Body that Works (Goof Shlishi), Line in the Sand
Key Genres: Foreign-language drama, non-scripted formats
Strategy: Israeli powerhouse Keshet is hosting its first physical event during the Screenings – updating clients with developments from discussions kicked off during October’s Mipcom Cannes. The slate is headlined by A Body that Works, an intimate relationship drama that sees a childless couple enlist the help of a surrogate.
Keshet International will also be screening the opening episode of the second season of Line in the Sand at a drama event along with showing a sneak peek of a ‘whodunnit’. As ever with Keshet, unscripted formats will also be key.
Screening: Wednesday, 12.30pm-2pm, Soho Hotel
Key Shows: Limbo, Dark Hearts
Key Genres: Premium scripted
Strategy: Three new scripted series are coming to London TV Screenings via French giant Newen’s distribution arm. Alongside these as-yet-unannounced programs, Newen will be pushing top selling scripted series Limbo and Dark Hearts while promoting itself as a distributor of English language shows from both in-house producer Newen Studios and third parties. In the past, the outfit’s bread-and-butter offering has been non-English fare but it has recently pushed into the English language space and intends to make some noise about it.
Screening: Tuesday 9-12pm, Soho Hotel
Key Shows: Plan B, Stranded on Honeymoon Island
Key Genres: Drama, formats
Strategy: Formats and dramas will be the name of the game for Red Arrow when the Munich-headquartered distributor sits down with buyers at an event on March 1. The company is using the Screenings to shout about Stranded on Honeymoon Island – a Married at First Sight-esque dating format with a twist in which fledgling relationships are put to the test on a tropical island. Elsewhere, Canadian network CBC’s Patrick J. Adams-starring high-concept psychological drama Plan B should attract plenty of attention.
Screening: Wednesday, 9am-10.30am, Covent Garden Hotel
RED ARROW STUDIOS INTERNATIONAL STUDIOCANAL
Key Shows: Spinners, Conviction, Untitled Xavier Giannoli project
Key Genres: Premium drama, factual, animation
Strategy: StudioCanal will pitch to an impressive collection of global buyers with shows in the pipeline by teasing a hefty 2023 slate. The Canal+ Group is prioritizing international productions and will be discussing this strategy with buyers. On sale are South African coming-of-age drama Spinners, which revolves around the dangerous sport of spinning, character drama Conviction and an untitled project from Xavier Giannoli (Marguerite), which will be teased during a showcase.
Screening: Thursday, 5.30pm-9pm, Vue West End
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