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Mipcom: Sony Pictures Television Chief Steve Mosko Talks ‘Better Call Saul,’ ‘Powers’

CANNES — Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television, told delegates at TV market Mipcom Monday that “Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul” would prompt fans of the original show to rewatch past episodes of “Breaking Bad.”

“For all the ‘Breaking Bad’ fans there will be a lot of twists and turns. I won’t spill the beans too much, but it is going to force you to go back and check out things that happened in ‘Breaking Bad’ to make sure you were clear about what you saw back then,” said Mosko, who recently visited the “Better Call Saul” set.

“Better Call Saul,” whose creative team includes “Breaking Bad” creator and showrunner Vince Gilligan, will air at the beginning of next year.

Mosko also showed a new trailer from “Powers,” a drama series produced for the PlayStation Network about a superhero who has lost his powers. Mosko said the show would be “complementary to the existing PlayStation audience.” The budget is comparable with what Sony was doing with its basic cable dramas, he said.

Mosko said that the digital explosion had doubled the number of buyers for companies like his own, but the traditional linear business was still strong, with 30 original shows from Sony Pictures Television on air on 14 networks in the U.S. He added that the global audience was paramount for Sony Pictures Television. “Everything we make is done through the eyes of how is this going to work around the world,” he said.

Piracy is still a huge problem for the biz, he said. If it was not grappled with by the industry, shows “would not only be worth less, they could become worthless,” he said.

One solution was to move toward day-and-date releases, keeping as close to the U.S. launch date as possible. “The sooner you make it available in international territories, the more you will deter the pirates,” he said. This may mean keeping productions back while subtitling and dubbing was carried out for international territories.

He said that financial issues at the Sony mothership meant that “more than ever we are important to the company.” He said that under Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Corporation, the company was improving. “There’s never been a time when the different parts of the entertainment company have worked so well together,” said Mosko, who has been at Sony for 22 years.

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