The annual TV market has offered fewer than usual major production announcements, but Kiwis and NZ-originated shows are in the mix.
Screentime and TVNZ have announced NZ-set co-pro Straight Forward with Danish prodco Mastiff and SVOD provider Viaplay. Screentime and Mastiff are both parts of the Banijay group, and Straight Forward is another example of Screentime partnering with sister companies to deliver production to NZ. The show shoots in Queenstown.
In the last couple of years fellow Banijay copany Stephen David Entertainment has shot shows here including American Playboy and The Making of the Mob. For Straight Forward, US SVOD platform is on board. Acorn has previously done SVOD deals for Desert Road’s Harry and SPP’s The Blue Rose and The Brokenwood Mysteries.
Viaplay is also part of the international commissioning consortium Atrium TV which NZ’s Sky TV has joined. Other partners include European and Indian broadcasters/VOD services. Sky Director of Entertainment Content, Travis Dunbar, said the company is delighted at the opportunity to be a part of Atrium TV from the start.
“The ability to be involved at the grass-roots level of the commissioning of cutting-edge drama on a global stage offers us the opportunity to not only inject a Kiwi perspective in the development of these projects but to ultimately be able to share the results of this collaboration exclusively with local audiences.”
Atrium TV unveiled its extended slate at MipCom: TV adaptation of Quasimodo, written by Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars) and Executive Produced by Game of Thrones alumni Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage; epic historical drama Jerusalem; based on a horror videogame State of Decay; an adaptation of Peter James’ thriller Perfect People; moon landing series One Giant Leap; and an adaptation of the Boris Akunin book series Fandorin about a 19th-century Russian detective.
Another European broadcaster making announcements at MipCom was Canal+, which now has rights for UK-made Hard Sun by Wellington-based writer Neil Cross, recently a star turn at the Big Screen Symposium. Canal+ also announced acquisition of the TV version of Aussie classic Picnic at Hanging Rock. Both shows are repped by Fremantle internationally.
Next year’s new arrival at the TV markets, CanneSeries, also stepped out at MipCom to reveal some detail around its inaugural edition and present Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen (pictured, top) as the face of the festival.
Most of the event will run in the week leading up to MipTV, offering a competition, free screenings, and various more public-facing (read: star-driven) activities than MipTV usually delivers. Basically Cannes with TV not films.
In partnership with MipTV, industry-facing activities including pitch competitions will run more or less in tandem with MipTV.
CanneSeries will run 4 – 11 April. MipTV will run 9 – 12 April.