As the television market kicked off in Cannes, actress Kim Cattrall, director Hugo Blick and crime-writer Michael Connelly were among those hitting the Croisette to promote their upcoming shows.


Kim Cattrall on Sensitive Skin

Actress Kim Cattrall unveiled the first trailer for her Canada-set remake of BBC comedy drama Sensitive Skin.

Cattrall stars as an aging former model who moves to an edgy, inner city neighbourhood with her husband in a bid to revitalise their lives. The role was played in the UK version by Joanna Lumley.

The former Sex and the City star is executive producing the series alongside writer Bob Martin and director Don Mckellar, who also co-stars. 

The 56-year-old, former Sex and City star told MipTV execs that there was a dearth of good roles for women of her age. “Women my age have very much to say and unfortunately this business doesn’t recognise that most of the time,” said Cattrall.

The actress revealed she was introduced to Sensitive Skin in 2006 by the BBC’s then head of comedy Jon Plowman, as she was forging a stage career following the end of Sex and the City. “I’d just done a show in the West End and I was invited to this creative meeting.

“I was sort of ambivalent about it because I felt to go back to television at this point of my life it would have to be something quite extraordinary but it was Jon Plowman, who was responsible for Absolutely Fabulous, The Office and Extras. I thought maybe I should listen… he encouraged me to go home with a lot of DVDs and look at different writers and one of them was Hugo Blick and Sensitive Skin

“I was sceptical at the beginning, as I put the DVD into the machine, and then I was like ‘Wow, this is a story that hasn’t been told before’.”

Toronto-based Tricon Film and Pictures is handling sales on the series produced by Rhombus Media in association with Baby Cow Productions, Bell Media’s The Movie Network and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central is currently in post-production.  The company will be sending screeners out after the market.

Connelly unveils crime-Amazon series Bosch

Crime-writer Michael Connelly was at the Majestic to promote the upcoming Amazon Series adaptation of his best-selling novels about LA homicide detective Harry Bosch with actor Titus Welliver in the lead role.  

“It’s really going to be true to the character of Harry Bosch, and true to the city of Los Angeles which he works in and has spent his whole life in… I wouldn’t sign a contract with anyone who wouldn’t agree to shoot every scene in Los Angeles,” the writer told a press conference.

Amazon greenlit the 10-part, 50-minute episode series on the back of audience reviews of a one-hour pilot released on its steaming service in February. Producer Henrik Bastin of LA-based Fabrik Entertainment said some 11,000 people had reviewed the pilot in the space of a month but could not reveal figures on how many people had viewed the pilot in total.

“The pilot is really an establishing point for the character.  We bring in the beginnings of two stories City of Bones and Concrete Blond,” said Connelly, who became the seventh author to sell over 1 million kindle books via Amazon in 2011. Connelly is overseeing the script with Law and Order and The Wire writer Eric Overmyer.

“We’ve assembled a really amazing writing team of people who have worked on shows like The Sopranos, The Wire and Breaking Bad. I’m going to write some of the scripts but it would be impossible to write them all,” said Connelly, who is also working on a new Bosch novel due out in November.

Executive producer Jan Frouman of Red Arrow Entertainment and Red Arrow’s sales chief Irina Ignatieuw, who is handling international sales worldwide, bar the US, the UK and Germany, also attended the conference. Ignatieuw is rolling out sales on the pilot and series at MipTV.

“Michael’s books have been sold everywhere. We have interest from a lot territories… and back to back meetings throughout MipTV,” said Ignatieuw.  


The Honorable Woman

The world premiere of Hugo Blick’s thriller The Honorable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as a London-based Jewish peace activist who becomes embroiled in the Middle East conflict, met with an enthusiastic response at a packed screening on Monday.

“I’m very interested in the region, the politics and the macro subject of it but what I was really interested in was the idea of that type of conflict being internalised in a family… a family’s relationship to that macro world,” Bafta-winnng Blick told a Q&A session afterwards.

Gyllenhaal said she had initially been reticent about taking the role. “We met and I wasn’t sure and I think wasn’t sure because I was terrified,” she commented.

The series, produced by Eight Rooks and Drama Republic Production for the BBC, with the Sundance Channel on board as a co-producer, is due to hit screens in the UK and the US later this year. Recent sales by BBC Worldwide include to Canal Plus for France and HBO Nordic.  


Studiocanal’s Tandem Communications and Lionsgate announced joint crime drama project Sex, Lies and Handwriting.  The 12-episode, one-hour series is inspired by artist and handwriting expert Michelle Dresbold’s eponymous, autobiographical book drawing on her own work with the US Secret Service to help solve crimes such as kidnapping, embezzlement and murder. Saving Grace showrunner Nancy Miller and Against The Wall writer Annie Brunner are attached the series which is due to shoot this summer in Vancouver. The series is the first production to come out of a co-financing and distribution deal signed last year.

MGM is presenting its new 10-part Fargo-inspired series to buyers during MipTV. The company has already sealed deals for the UK (Channel 4), the Netherlands (Netflix) and New Zealand (Soho).  The series loosely based on the Coen Brothers’ cult hit will premiere on the US cable network FX later this year.


Beta Film kicked off the market with the announcement of two major sales on new series Velvet, set against the backdrop of a Madrid fashion gallery in the 1950s and 60s, to Italy’s Rai Uno, for broadcast and remake, and to France’s M6. The series is the latest production from Bambu Productions, the company behind the Santander-set Grand Hotel, sometimes dubbed the “Spanish Downton Abbey”. 

The UK’s Shine International has sold documentary The School to Belgium (VMMA), Denmark (TV2), Sweden (SVT), Australia (ABC) and New Zealand (TVNZ)

Israeli Dori Media Group’s hit reality format Power Couple – in which eight couples face a series of extreme challenges – has been picked up by SIC in Portugal. Deals are close to being sealed the US, France, Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

Zodiak Rights sealed a three-title deal with US arts network Ovation for Susan Boyle: Her Secret Struggle, Big Ballet and Show Me The Monet.

German broadcaster ARD acquired children’s comedy series Worst Year of My Life Again! from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF). The show will air on the broadcaster’s children’s channel KiKA. The show was previously acquired for Latin America (Disney Channels), Sweden (SVT), Norway (NRK) and Finland (YLE).