A relatively quiet MipTV was good news for British producers and distributors, who took advantage of a noticeable lack of Americans to strike deals.
MipTV is traditionally quieter than October’s Mipcom, but this week’s event was particularly subdued, with seemingly fewer traders than for many years.
But that was a boon for the Brits who were there, allowing them to take advantage of the lack of Hollywood studios and major US firms by attracting interest from international broadcasters.
The Honourable Woman, the Drama Republic-produced BBC2 series starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, was a hot title for BBC Worldwide, with networks including French pay broadcaster Canal+ acquiring the series.
There was also evidence of international media firms keen to strike production, acquisition and financing deals with UK indies. Companies including Keshet, the Israeli media group behind Rising Star and Prisoners Of War, the inspiration for Homeland, Germany’s Red Arrow Entertainment, DRG owner Modern Times Group (MTG), Studio Canal-backed Tandem Communications and The Walking Dead distributor Entertainment One were all out in force.
eOne TV boss John Morayniss told Screen’s sister publication Broadcast he is running the rule over several UK firms, particularly in the non-scripted space. MTG is also understood to have struck its first wide-ranging deal with a UK factual producer, which will give it access to original British content for the first time.
Keshet, which is producing Rising Star for UK commercial broadcaster ITV in association with ITV Studios, is also keen to build up its UK division.
“We may be number one, but we think like number two. Disruptiveness can only come if you don’t feel like the winner. Restlessness is key. This is the company ethos,” chief executive Avi Nir said during a keynote panel session.
Keshet has just sold new gameshow Boom to US network Fox and has several formats in development in the UK.
There was also some suggestion that Rising Star, which was originally set to replace Dancing On Ice, will be moved forward if the show is a success in the US, where it airs this summer on ABC.
If the sun was shining on UK interests in Cannes, then it was also beaming down on Australia, with antipodean drama becoming hot property.
The BBC is understood to have snapped up the UK rights to political thriller The Code, produced by Playmaker Media and distributed by DCD Rights. The 6 x 60-minute series, which is set in the corridors of power in Canberra and follows two brothers who have information they shouldn’t, has been earmarked for the BBC4 Saturday night slot previously filled by European dramas including The Killing and Borgen.
Elsewhere, All3Media International launched period drama Anzac Girls and Shine International was selling INXS mini-series Never Tear Us Apart.
As more global players penetrate the UK, British indies and sales agents will be hoping to build on their progress, while the US studios focus on next month’s LA Screenings.