'Crooked Banker,' 'Not Just Another Show' in the works

PARIS — ITV Studios France, the Gallic production arm of the U.K. broadcaster, announced its first two fiction projects at Mipcom on Wednesday.

The Paris-based shingle, which launched in March, is developing a 90-minute TV drama based on “Confession d’un banquier pourri: La crise financiere vecue de l’interieur” (Confessions of a Crooked Banker: The Financial Crisis Experienced from Within). The book was penned by Cresus, an anonymous French banker who was laid off as part of prexy Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to clean up bank frauds in Gaul.

“We’re looking to make a contemporary French fiction, which will reveal the inner workings of a French bank in the aftermath of the 2008 stock market crash,” said Francois Florentiny, prexy of ITV France. “We’re making it primarily for local TV and we’ll certainly link up with our international branches later on,” he said.

ITV Studios France also are developing “Not Just Another Show,” a sitcom series set behind the scenes at a French TV network. Skein will topline up-and-coming French comic Thomas Ngijol. The Gallic comedian hosted “Ils se Foot du Monde” (They Make Fun of Soccer) a gag-laden 90-minute show centering on soccer, which aired on Canal Plus-owned network Comedie a day before the FIFA World Cup kick-off.

Since the creation of ITV Studios France, Florentiny has been outspoken about his wish to boost the quality French drama production.

In April, Florentiny organized the first edition of Series Mania, a week-long festival spotlighting international drama series, with sneak peeks of new shows and Q&As with high profile showrunners, including “Flashforward’s” Brannon Braga and “Dexter’s” Clyde Phillips.

ITV Studios France has recently inked a deal with commercial net M6 to produce “Le Bus,” the first international format adaptation of Channel 4’s reality show “Coach Trip.”

Headquartered in London, ITV has offices in the U.S., Scandinavia, Germany, Spain and Australia.

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