MIPTV: The Week in Drama

While an array of international talent from this year’s Canneseries selections brought some red-carpet glamour to MIPTV, the biggest news to emerge from the scripted space last week came from the Palais’s Debussy Theatre with the Media Mastermind keynote from STUDIOCANAL’s Anna Marsh. In conversation with World Screen’s own Anna Carugati, Marsh broke two big headlines for the European studio: STUDIOCANAL is working with its affiliated company SunnyMarch—founded by Benedict Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland—on How to Stop Time, a six-parter based on the best-selling Matt Haig novel. Cumberbatch will star in the production, which will shoot in London and Europe in 2024. Marsh also told delegates that STUDIOCANAL had invested in U.K. indie Strong Film & Television, led by Broadchurch director James Strong as co-founder and joint creative director, along with executive producer Loretta Preece and executive Matt Tombs.

The company’s M&A approach is opportunistic, Marsh said. “Our strategy is not to go out and buy as many companies as we can just to add and increase that number. We’re looking for strategic alliances to work with like-minded producers and talent. We’re out there looking for partnerships. We’re out there looking for people who want to build European content with international potential, who love what they do, and who can understand the audience and connect with the audience emotionally.”

European scripted was certainly in the spotlight last week. The big-budget European co-pro The Swarm, sold by ZDF Studios and Beta Film, was in the headlines with its sale to the U.K. on Sky Max. ORF-Enterprise unveiled its new highlights, including the ORF/ARD drama co-production Days That Never Were. Armin Luttenberger, head of content sales international at ORF-Enterprise, noted: “The past years have shown a tremendous shift: Whereas traditionally, ORF-Enterprise has always been a known supplier of blue-chip factual content, recent success stories of ORF original dramas in other language markets proves the audience’s love for German-language drama and encourages us to expand our catalog respectively.”

Korean drama also made headlines, with CJ ENM clinching a deal with Firebird Pictures for a remake of the drama format Train in the U.K.

As discussed in the well-attended FAST & Global Summit on Tuesday, distributors with large catalogs are finding a wealth of opportunities to license their brands to content-hungry FAST channel operators, among them Rakuten TV, which unveiled a new Crime channel for Italy.

Catch up on these stories and more on TVDrama.com, screen clips of new and returning shows on TVDramaScreenings.com and find out more about some of the hottest properties available on the market today in our recent TV Drama Screenings Festival.