In today’s International Newswire, Series Mania snags Reed Hastings and other heavyweights for its Lille Transatlantic Dialogues; Netflix confirms “Money Heist” as its most watched non-English series ever; Spain converts to Turkish telenovelas; HBO Nordic’s “Berforeigners” gets Norwegian government backing.
A considerable Series Mania coup: Reed Hastings, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix is billed as attending Series Mania’s first Lille Transatlantic Dialogues, along with CEO grandees of Europe’s TV/digital platform scene: Endemol Shine Group’s Sophie Turner Laing, telecom Orange’s Stéphane Richard, Delphine Ernotte Cunci at France Televisions and TF1 Group’s Gilles Pelisson.
Hastings will be the subject of a Q & A session. Panelists take in BBC director of policy Claire Sumer and Antony Root, VP, programming and production, HBO Europe. French minister of culture Françoise Nyssen and European Commission VP Andrus Ansip will close discussions.
That’s a kind of heavyweight industry presence which will merely reenforce Series Mania’s position as still, despite competition and dates just one week before the Cannes Festival, as Europe’s premiere drama series festival.
“Our goal with the Lille Transatlantic Dialogues is to create a club for media and policy-makers, a regular high-level rendezvous inspired by the Sun Valley Conference,” said Laurence Herszberg, Series Mania general director.
Issues on the table have yet to be announced. The Dialogues’ backing, from France’s CNC film-TV agency, and the E.U.’s Creative Europe Media Program, suggests some consideration will be given to quotas for OTT platforms, championed by Ansip. As proof of its international local content investment, Hastings could point to the extraordinary 5.46 million net hike in first quarter international subs and content spend of $7.5 million to $8 billion for 2018. 60% of Netflix’s announced upcoming series are non-U.S. according to Guy Bisson, at Ampere Analysis. In many ways, Netflix and the E.U. area already on the same page.
Official: ‘Money Heist’ (‘La Casa de Papel’) the Most Watched Non-English Series in Netflix History
Hastings could also make reference to “La casa del papel” (“Money Heist”). It’s now official. Over Jan.-March 2018, the Spanish-language and Spanish heist thriller became the “most watched non-English series on Netflix ever,” Netflix confirmed Monday in a letter to shareholders parsing its first quarter results. “We are seeing more examples of non-English language content transcending borders,” Netflix added. Some commentators insist it’s surprising that a series which punched just a pretty average 12 percentage points share on Spanish broadcast network Atresmedia could then a global hit. As broadcasters audience shares decline, however, they can risk producing more targeted audience segment fare, such as “Money Heist,” a YA series which has pulled off a spectacular long tail success, becoming a social phenomenon in Argentina and Iran. Kicking into the heist a third of the way through Ep. 1, “Money Heist” also underscores another trend: First grab your audience with action, then develop character. Otherwise, they might soon be watching something else.
Turkish Drama ‘Ezel’ Sells in Spain
Atresmedia, one of Spain’s largest broadcasters, has acquired the Turkish drama “Ezel” from Eccho Rights, to be broadcast on its Nova channel. It is the second from producer Ay Yapim to air on that channel. According to Atresmedia his first, “Fatmagül,” has received the best ratings on that channel since March 2015. A story of revenge, “Ezel” follows a young man spurned by his friends and fiancé. It was the first Turkish drama to be sold in every Latin American territory, and has rated well in Eastern Europe, Asia, Middle East and North Africa, exemplifying the international sales success of the genre. Spain, where local drama is highly popular, traditionally held out against Turkish imports. No more.
HBO Nordic Sci-Fi Gets NFI Backing
Produced by Rubicon TV, Jens Lien’s sci-fi series “Beforeigners” is HBO Nordic’s first original from Norway, and second overall following the Swedish-language dramedy “Gösta.” A grant of nearly €1 ($1.2 million) has been awarded to Lien’s project by the Norwegian Film Institute (NFI), pushing the budget to €7 million . It’s the second grant the series has received from NFI; last year an incentive of €400,000 ($495,000) was awarded to secure Norway as the filming location for the show. According to Nordisk Film & TV Fond newsletter, the series “reunites some of Norway’s top talents”: Lien (“The Bothersome Man,” “Viva Hate”) and “Lilyhammer” writing duo Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin.