ROME- Reflecting growing international interest in Italian TV skeins, Italo pubcaster RAI’s sales arm RAI Com is boasting brisk business at the recent Mip TV mart, where new seasons of Sicily-set “Inspector Montalbano” prequel “The Young Montalbano” sold widely, while high-profile biopics “Mennea,” on sprinter and sporting hero Pietro Mennea, and “Oriana,” about late-great Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, look set to break out of national confines.
New installments of the sensual “Young Montalbano,” a regular ratings winner in Italy, were picked up by satcaster MHz Networks for the U.S.; the BBC for the U.K.; France TV for France; Lumiere for Benelux; Ceska Televize for the Czech Republic; and YLE for Finland.
RAI’s “Mennea” biopic, which toplines “Montalbano” protag Michele Riondino as the late-great sprinter whose career included four consecutive Olympic 200 meters finals, will be licensed in Latin America by Rose Marie Vega’s boutique sales company RMVistar. “Mennea” will be seen in the U.S., in its Spanish-language version, via V-Me TV.
“Mennea,” which was a smash hit on RAI, has also generated “strong interest in Western and Eastern Europe,” said RAI Com’s head of international sales Mattia Oddone, who boasted that the company’s recent sales in Cannes “also validate our strategic focus beyond our European core clients to Latin America as one of our most important markets.”
Meanwhile, RAI Com is in talks for sales in France (M6), Poland (TV Polska), and Finland (YLE), on “Oriana” (pictured) which is penned by Italo scribes Stefano Rulli and Sandro Petraglia (“Best of Youth”). “Oriana” performed below the ratings par for high-end dramas in Italy but still drew a more than 14 percent primetime share, which is decent considering that the feisty, often-contoversial Fallaci, albeit in a tame incarnation, is not your typical Italian generalist TV fare.