It was equal parts sunshine and rain in Cannes for MipTV, which summed up perfectly the mood of the market.
While business was booming in some areas, particularly drama, the market felt quiet overall.
One of the biggest talking points was the forthcoming UK tax break for high-end drama, with international broadcasters talking up plans to develop, produce and shoot in the UK, and global producers feeling confident about getting their ideas away with this growing number of potential buyers.
Carmi Zlotnik, managing director of US cable network Starz, which was promoting the David Goyer-penned Da Vinci’s Demons and BBC co-pro The White Queen [pictured], told Broadcast it is planning to work with more UK producers to take advantage of the credit. It has also just ordered thriller Fortitude from Tiger Aspect and Fifty Fathoms, a co-pro with Sky Atlantic.
Reelz, the US cable station that aired controversial mini-series The Kennedys after History pulled out, is also scouring the UK for edgy dramas to co-produce.
“Our door’s open and we want to compete with the likes of AMC and TNT, so we’re looking for exciting, fresh, international dramas,” said programming exec Steve Galloway.
Ed Bernero, creator and executive producer of Criminal Minds, told Broadcast the appeal of ideas from the UK and Europe was not just financial. He said the US studio system was “broken” and that an increasing number of showrunners are looking internationally to get their shows made.
Bernero was in Cannes to promote Crossing Lines, which is produced by Studiocanal-owned German producer Tandem Communications for France’s TF1 and Sony’s international AXN networks.
One of the most talked-about shows at the market was The Saint, a remake of the Roger Moorefronted series, which is produced and distributed by MPCA, the company set up by Dumb And Dumber producer Brad Krevoy.
But British drama was still one of the most popular pipelines of programming. BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson announced a raft of commissions, while Entertainment One has had success selling Thandie Newton-fronted drama Rogue, produced by British producer Nick Hamm for US network DirecTV.
Meanwhile, Shine International has stepped up its drama sales efforts with Kudos Film and TV’s Broadchurch, which has generated huge international interest, and BBC Vision Productions’ zombie thriller In The Flesh from Dominic Mitchell.
As well as the news that Shine is closing in on a deal to buy Big Talk, there was much talk about mergers and acquisitions and rumours that the UK is set for a new wave of consolidation. Media groups including ITV Studios, Endemol, French producer and distributor Lagardère, Entertainment One, Studiocanal and Banijay have all been active in the market, and a number of significant deals could be imminent.
However, despite the boom in certain areas, the market itself felt quieter. The absence of US companies, including Sony Pictures Television and Disney, was notable, with the consensus from distributors that, while they were happy with the quality of buyers, they would have liked a few more to attend.
This story was originally published by Broadcast.