×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Biarritz Rendez-Vous: MHz Choice Preps October Re-Launch (EXCLUSIVE)

SVOD platform positions as one of U.S.’s biggest buyers of Euro TV series

BIARRITZ, France – MHz Choice, the soon-to-re-launch U.S. SVOD service, is readying Season 5 of gritty Gallic French cop drama “Spiral,” which made history in France as Canal Plus’ first hit original series production, as one flagship series to power up clients to its new service.

The SVOD platform plans a mid-October re-launch.

Emerging as one of the U.S.’s biggest buyers of European series, MHz Choice’s other flagship buys run from milestone Canal Plus skeins – violent Gallic procedural “Braquo,” Seasons 1 and 2 – to softer detective dramas, such as the Sicily sun-drenched modern classic “Detective Montalbano,” starring Luca Zingaretti (pictured), “Camilla Lackberg’s “Fjallbacjka Murders,” a murder mystery set in a idyllic Swedish fishing village, rife with jealousy, passion and homicide; and pubcaster France 3-backed Word War II series, now at five seasons, about a village on the French-Swiss border in German-occupied France, bought from 100% Distribution.

Usually buying rights for both the U.S. and Canada, MHz Choice will offer about 3,000 hours of subtitled procedurals, dramas, comedies and some documentaries, Lance Schwulst, MHz Choice VP, content strategy, said at Biarritz Rendez-Vous, run by TV France Intl. (TVFI).

That includes, for any U.S. drama buff, some mouthwatering prospects such as violent Dutch series “The Godless”; and French pre-Revolution historical procedural “Nicolas Le Floch.”

Also on MHz Choice’s German sitcom “Crime Scene Cleaner,” and from Italy, court drama “A Case of Conscience,” “Borsellino: The 57 Days,” again with Zingaretti as an anti-Mafia judge; two-part TV movie “Cesare Mori,” about the real-life 1920s Mafia nemesis; Beta-sold two-hour procedural “Anatomy of Evil,” set in Vienna; and two Zodiak Rights-repped shows, Sweden’s “Annika Bengzton: Crime Reporter, from “Milennium” trilogy producers Yellow Bird; and Le Havre-set Gallic buddy cop series “Blood on the Docks.”

Effectively a re-launch after one aborted attempt, MHz Choice’s bow is scheduled for October. The new service marks the latest move from MHz Networks, a Washington-based news-focused public broadcaster specializing in international content which has moved progressively into fiction TV entertainment with “Detective Montalban” and also launched a DVD distrib op, MHz Networks supplies content, sometime show blocks, to 30 U.S. affiliates.

It also operates U.S. national channel MHz Worldwide, available as a digital programming choice for U.S. PBS stations.

“I’m more proud of acquiring and curating MHz Choice than anything else I have done in my career,” said Schwulst.

Incorporating content to which MHz Networks already had rights, “it’s more like HBO Now than Netflix,” he said.

MHz Choice will be available on TV via an Amazon Fire TV Stick and Roku streaming media player. There will also be an Android App. “We hope within a year’s time, MHz Choice will be available on most platforms in the U.S,” Schwulst added.

He added: “This is niche product and it needs a niche platform to distribute it. It can’t get lost among the latest studio releases.”

More TV

  • Reese Witherspoon

    Starz to Develop 'Kin' Series With Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine

    Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner has inked a deal with Starz to develop “Kin,” Variety has learned. The multi-generational family drama comes from “Queen Sugar” and “Constantine” writer Davita Scarlett who developed the project with Chester Jones III. Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine Film and TV head Lauren Neustadter are on board as EPs alongside Scarlett. [...]

  • David Shuster Michelle Makori I24

    Altice Aims to Carve Out Niche in Cable With Global-Themed i24News

    Who would invest in the U.S. launch of a linear, 24/7 cable news network in the current climate of bloodletting for niche cable channels? Patrick Drahi, the French-Israeli media mogul who controls Altice USA and Altice Europe, that’s who. Multiple system operator Altice USA is slowly but steadily expanding the cable distribution base for i24News, [...]

  • Sunday Night Football Ratings

    Pete Bevacqua Expands Oversight of NBC Sports

    Pete Bevacqua, who joined NBC Sports Group as president in September of last year, will gain more oversight of the NBCUniversal unit in the wake of a recent restructuring of the executive ranks of the corporation. Bevacqua retains his role as president, but will oversee the entire NBC Sports Group portfolio, adding NBC Olympics, production, [...]

  • 'Robin Hood' Director Otto Bathurst to

    Showtime's 'Halo' Series Enlists 'Robin Hood' Director Otto Bathurst

    Showtime’s adaptation of the wildly popular video game “Halo” has found its new director. The network has announced that Otto Bathurst will assume the director’s chair for multiple episodes, as well as serving as EP for the live-action series. Bathurst’s most recent directorial credits include last year’s adaption of “Robin Hood” with Taron Egerton and [...]

  • 'Haunting of Hill House' Renewed, Creators

    'Haunting of Hill House' Renewed as Anthology, Creators Ink Overall TV Deal at Netflix

    “The Haunting of Hill House” is returning to Netflix–sort of. The streaming giant has ordered a new installment in what they are calling “The Haunting” anthology, meaning the  next chapter of the horror series will feature an entirely new story and new characters from those seen in the first season. In addition, Netflix has entered [...]

  • Peter Tork dead

    Peter Tork of the Monkees Dies at 77

    Peter Tork, the guitarist and wise-cracking character in the 1960s teen-pop sensation the Monkees, died today at the age of 77, a rep for the group confirmed to Variety. Speaking with the Washington Post, Tork’s sister Anne Thorkelson did not specify a cause of death, although the guitarist had been diagnosed with a rare form [...]

  • Jussie SmollettBillboard Music Awards, Arrivals, Las

    Fox 'Evaluating the Situation' After Jussie Smollett Arrest

    Fox is weighing its options following the arrest of “Empire” star Jussie Smollett on Thursday morning. “We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process,” 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a joint statement. “We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.” Smollett surrendered to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content