You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

For Red Arrow Int’l, Scripted Dramas Translate Into Event Programming

Recent years have seen a strengthening in the market for bigger-budget drama that can serve as event programming for broadcasters. Red Arrow Intl. is in the vanguard of that trend, with high-profile shows like “Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot,” “100 Code” and “Bosch.”

“If you have a well-known cast, a great writer and showrunner, a program is on the road to becoming a successful event program,” says Irina Ignatiew, who heads the company alongside fellow managing director Henrik Pabst.

The market has benefited from the entry of streaming services like Netflix, which licensed “Lilyhammer,” and Amazon, which commissioned “Bosch.” “The opportunities to create high-quality stories and formats are better than ever,” says Pabst. “Since those new services are particularly reliant on attractive content in order to entice new subscribers, they are prepared to come up with serious budgets and are willing to invest in high-quality productions.”

The rise of non-linear services, both pure streaming operators like Netflix and Amazon, and the ancillary services offered by traditional free and pay TV operators, has allowed new forms of drama to take root. In the crime genre, for example, with shows like “100 Code” and “Bosch,” more time can be devoted to character and more complicated plotlines.

“The market has changed,” says Ignatiew. “Theatrical talent is moving more and more into television, enabling us to tell stories in a more thorough and creative way. Procedurals with closed storylines don’t allow for much character development, and now through serialization we are able to take a more cinematic approach to the storytelling.”

Comedy can offer a challenge for distributors, but dramedies can be very popular, and have offered a rich vein for Red Arrow Intl. to mine. Steven van Zandt starrer “Lilyhammer,” which has sold to more than 150 territories, provides a telling example.
“Every country has its own sense of humor; therefore, a broad and universal appeal is key to its success,” Ignatiew
says. “With ‘Lilyhammer,’ this works very well, and Steve van Zandt’s hilarious fish-out-of-water performance makes it must-see TV.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Hailee SteinfeldTribeca TV Festival 2019 Presents

    Hailee Steinfeld Announces New Single Tied to Apple TV Plus' 'Dickinson'

    Actress, singer and producer Hailee Steinfeld is set to release a new single entitled “Afterlife” on Sept. 19, a track she created for her upcoming Apple TV Plus series,”Dickinson.” “This is a song I’m incredibly proud of, and I feel like after embodying this character, I have a more fearless approach to my writing,” Steinfeld [...]

  • Rachel Bloom

    Rachel Bloom Announces Pregnancy After Emmy Win

    “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom made a special announcement after winning her Emmy for best original music and lyrics — she is pregnant. Bloom announced the news backstage on Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. She joked she had planned to reveal the news on Instagram but that doing it at the Emmys was even [...]

  • EVIL is a psychological mystery that

    TV Review: 'Evil'

    In its pilot installment, CBS’s new drama “Evil” delves into that which may lie beyond the rationally explicable. And the show itself represents something almost supernatural by 2019 standards, too: A well-made hour fueled by chemistry between its leads and a strong idea of itself. On the basis of its debut outing, which screened at [...]

  • Emmy Awards Placeholder

    Creative Arts Emmys: 'Free Solo,' 'Queer Eye' Among Big Winners on Night 1 (Full List)

    “Free Solo,” “Queer Eye,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Saturday Night Live” were among the big winners Saturday after the first night of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. “Free Solo,” the National Geographic feature documentary that already claimed the Oscar earlier this year, lead the field on the [...]

  • Gary Cole, Christina Anthony, Tika Sumpter,

    'Mixed-ish' Team on Why 'All Stories About "Others" Are Necessary'

    The producers and cast of “Mixed-ish” are not out to tell a singular black and white story — but one that showcases and celebrates all shades in between. “It’s important for me across the board in all of my work to talk about ‘otherness’ and identity and real, grounded characters,” showrunner Karin Gist told Variety [...]

  • Shane Gillis

    Comedians Condemn Shane Gillis Over Slurs

    “Saturday Night Live” showrunner Lorne Michaels has yet to comment on the racist and homophobic remarks made by newly hired cast member Shane Gillis, but comedians and actors are expressing their condemnation on social media, some even asking that he be fired from the show.  Footage of Gillis’s podcast, “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast,” was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content