MIPCOM Spotlight: A+E Networks


Aidan Gillen of Game of Thrones fame stars in the drama Project Blue Book, inspired by the U.S. Air Force’s investigation into UFOs, with the title leading the A+E Networks slate for MIPCOM.

Blue Book leverages a worldwide omnipresent fascination of ‘what’s out there,’” says Richard Tulk-Hart, A+E Networks’ managing director of international content distribution and co-productions. “It’s something that resonates with all of us, and the theme is universal.”

American Princess is the story of an Upper East Side socialite in New York City whose storybook wedding plans are dramatically derailed when she catches her fiancé cheating on the big day. A+E Networks is also promoting the second season of Knightfall. The Knights Templar-focused series stars Tom Cullen, as well as Mark Hamill in the role of a battle-hardened veteran of the Crusades.

“Our scripted content is premium, from the talent to the stories we are telling and the production auspices,” says Tulk-Hart.

Terminally ill people who have a short time to live record hologram messages for their loved ones in Voices from the Grave. “After their deaths, these walking, talking versions of the departed are delivered at times and in places where families need them the most,” explains Ellen Lovejoy, A+E Networks’ VP/head of content sales for the Americas and formats. “Voices from the Grave is unprecedented, gripping and highly unique content. Using cutting-edge portable holograph technology, it creates a ‘first’ in TV.”

Seatbelt Psychic, meanwhile, follows a medium who poses as a ride-share driver and surprises passengers with the ability to talk to their deceased loved ones. “We are very excited to take these two formats global,” Lovejoy says. The slate also includes the game show Snap Decision.

“A+E Networks’ formats reflect the cultural zeitgeist, and most importantly, they garner success in the markets where they air,” Lovejoy adds.

A spin-off of the reality hit Nightwatch, Nightwatch Nation takes viewers along for the ride as first responders across the U.S. attempt to save as many lives as possible on the overnight shift. Cameras capture them administering Narcan to individuals who have overdosed, treating active stroke victims and more.

A+E Networks is also presenting the eight-parter I Knew Jesus. The program is “thoughtful and compelling, an amazing and timely docuseries,” says Glen Hansen, the company’s VP/head of content sales for the Asia Pacific. Each hour-long episode is dedicated to presenting interpretations of Jesus.

In Forged in Fire: Knife or Death, America’s most experienced bladesmiths, martial artists and knife experts slice, stab and chop their way through everything from flying watermelons to huge ice blocks for the opportunity to take home the $20,000 grand prize. “We are super excited to bring these forward-leaning titles to MIPCOM,” Hansen says.

Other highlights include Live PD, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath and The Curse of Civil War Gold. Hansen adds, “A+E Networks’ factual series resonate greatly with viewers and garner success—not just in ratings out of the gate, but in the repeatability factor. A+E Networks has led the cultural conversation with award-winning factual programming that shines a light on the most pressing issues of the day and resonates around the world.”

“We have a reputation for defining new factual genres and setting trends,” says Hansen.