French broadcaster picks up 'Client List'

CANNES

Gallic commercial network TF1 has boarded “Brooklyn South,” a New York-set dramedy produced by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp TV.

“Brothers and Sisters” scribe Stephen Tolkin has been tapped to showrun the 12 one-hour episodes.

The English-language show is based on the characters of Besson’s hit film trilogy “Taxi,” which grossed $196 million worldwide.

Repped in international markets by EuropaCorp, “Brooklyn” turns on a NYPD femme detective with a medical condition and her chauffeur, a French streetwise cab driver who emigrated from Marseille. Cast has yet to be announced.

Skein, which will lense in New York and Toronto, has been commissioned by TF1 as part of its first-look pact with EuropaCorp TV, inked last year to develop English-language series for the international market.

Other franchise-based skeins on EuropaCorp TV’s roster include “Transporter” with Chris Vance, acquired by Canal Plus and HBO/Cinemax and sold worldwide by Lagardere Entertainment Rights.

At Mipcom, TF1 also unveiled new U.S. drama acquisitions, notably Sony’s melodrama “The Client List,” starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as a masseuse, and Warner Bros.’ cop skein “Major Crimes.” Both series have been renewed by their respective networks, Lifetime and TNT.

“American series hold a very important place in our programming slate, (partly) because they bolster the image of our brand: the drama series we choose are extremely well made, compelling and popular among French audiences,” said TF1 Group boss Nonce Paolini during a presser at Mipcom. “This year, TF1 scored eight out of the 10 best fiction ratings with American shows.”

Recent series pickups include “Unforgettable,” “Breakout Kings,” “Revenge,” “Person of Interest” and “Dallas.”

“We have been anticipating the ending of cult series like ‘House’ and ‘CSI: Miami,’ ” said Sophie Leveaux, TF1′s head of acquisitions and co-productions, pointing out that there is a one-year gap between the U.S. and French airing of these series.

TF1 has output deals with Warner, Sony and Universal.

The commercial net has also been developing original programming in co-production with international partners. Besides “Taxi,” TF1 commissioned Rene Balcer’s Paris-set cop drama “Jo” and Ed Bernero’s crimer “Crossing Lines,” toplining William Fichtner and Donald Sutherland.

On the factual entertainment side, TF1 has acquired Norwegian dating format “Babes on the Bus” from Nordic World, entertainment format “The Audience” from ITV Studios, and Dutch diving contest format “Celebrity Splash,” recently picked up by ABC in the U.S..

TF1 Prods. is behind “Coup de foudre au prochain village,” the French adaptation of “Babes on the Bus” and “Celebrity Splash,” while ITV Studios France will handle the adaptation of “The Audience.”

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