'Banks,' 'Wallander,' 'Whitechapel,' 'Paradise' collect sales

Drama is selling strongly at BBC Worldwide’s annual Showcase U.K. sales mart, being held for the first time in Liverpool, in northern England.

Crimers are doing particularly well at the four-day event, which wraps today.

Japanese broadcaster AXN Mystery acquired “Death in Paradise,” the second series of “Silk” and the second series of “Mad Dogs.”

Japanese paybox Wowow nabbed the first series of “DCI Banks,” the third series of “Wallander” and the third series of “Whitechapel.”

Other crime drama sales include “Inside Men” to Australia (UKTV), “Death in Paradise” to Kazakhstan (Astana TV), Belgium (VRT) and Lithuania (Lietuvos ryto). Danish pubcaster DR picked up the second series of “Sherlock” and the second series of “Scott & Bailey.”

Worldwide hosted a crime night attended by thesps Emilia Fox (“Silent Witness”), Stephen Tompkinson (“DCI Banks”) and Una Stubbs (“Sherlock”), who spoke to buyers to help drum up sales.

Worldwide’s Caroline Torrance, director of investment, content acquisitions, said: “Crime drama captures the imagination of TV audiences all around the world, and is a perennial best seller for us.”

“Silent Witness,” “Waking the Dead” and “Sherlock” have all sold to more than 200 territories.

Meanwhile, webs in France and Canada pre-bought rights to fantasy series “Sinbad,” produced by Impossible Pictures for BSkyB, at Showcase.

Space in Canada and Canal Plus in France have acquired the show, while NRJ12 in France has secured secondary rights.

Vintage BBC sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous,” rebooted for three 20th anniversary specials, sold across Europe. DR (Denmark), NPO (Holland), NRK (Norway), RUV (Iceland), SVT (Sweden), VRT (Belgium) and YLE (Finland) are among those who licensed the laffer, which was co-produced with U.S. gay web Logo.

Matt Forde, exec VP of sales and co-productions for BBC Worldwide America, predicted more collaborations with niche U.S. players like Logo and hailed the distributor’s first outing in Liverpool after its longtime berth in the south coast seaside resort of Brighton.

He said: “Showcase in Liverpool feels like a global event taking place in England, whereas before Showcase felt like a U.K. event taking place in Brighton.”

The Corp. said that more than 640 buyers attended the sales mart.

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