×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Italy’s Effe TV Inks Deals for BBC’s ‘War of the Worlds,’ Other High-End Dramas

Italy’s expanding Effe TV has inked a flurry of deals for high-end international dramas from players such as Entertainment One, BBC Studios, Endemol Shine and ITV Studios Global Entertainment, from which it picked up the BBC’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic novel “The War of the Worlds.” 

All six acquired dramas are based on literary properties. The deals signal the ambition of Effe TV, a subsidiary of Italian publisher and bookseller Feltrinelli Group, “to bring top international products to Italian TV audiences,” said Riccardo Chiattelli, director of the company’s LaF channel. The channel airs on Sky Italia, the Italian unit of Comcast-owned paybox Sky.

Besides the BBC’s three-part “War of the Worlds,” which toplines Rafe Spall (“The Big Short”) and Eleanor Tomlinson (“Poldark”) and is being produced by ITV-owned Mammoth Screen, LaF has also picked up three seasons of crime drama “Cardinal,” an adaptation of Canada’s bestselling “John Cardinal Mysteries,” from eOne. From BBC Studios, LaF has taken “In the Dark,” based on thrillers by British writer Mark Billingham, and the third season of comedy-drama “The Durrells,” based on the books of late explorer and author Gerald Durrell.

From Endemol Shine, LaF has purchased the 2013 miniseries “Death Comes to Pemberley,” adapted from the novel by P.D. James.

In an interview, Chiattelli said that several years ago, LaF made “the rather radical choice of focusing on TV series that are book adaptations,” which benefit from a marketing strategy that combines Feltrinelli’s books and TV sides. “All the series we launch are marketed in tandem with the Italian publishers of the book properties they stem from,” he noted.

Shows based on books that have aired on the expanding Italian niche channel include cult series such as “Maigret” starring Rowan Atkinson, the BBC’s “War and Peace,” Nordic noir “Wallander” and Wild Bunch TV’s Cuban crime thriller “Four Seasons in Havana.”

Chiattelli emphasized, however, that the bulk of LaF’s programming relies on factual content, including original productions, despite the high-end drama acquisitions. Effe TV is starting to expand its footprint internationally on this front, having recently partnered with Canada’s DBcom Media on several Italy-based episodes of Canadian-Danish urban designer Mikael Colville-Andersen‘s global documentary series “The Life-Sized City,” starting with an episode on Milan that will air in December.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Jennie Snyder Urman, Katie Wech Team

    Jennie Snyder Urman, Katie Wech Team for Medical Drama in Development at CBS

    CBS is developing a medical drama that hails from writer Katie Wech, Variety has learned. Currently titled “Good Sam,” the series follows a talented yet stifled surgeon who embraces her leadership role after her renowned and pompous boss falls into a coma. When he awakens and wants to resume surgery, however, it falls to her to [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Will Gluck

    Will Gluck Sets TV Overall Deal at eOne (EXCLUSIVE)

    Will Gluck has signed a two-year overall television deal with Entertainment One (eOne), Variety has learned exclusively. Under the deal, Richard Schwartz will continue to oversee all television projects for Gluck’s Olive Bridge Entertainment, with eOne set to serve as studio on all projects under the partnership. “The choice for us was clear given their impeccable [...]

  • Katie Hockmeyer

    NBC Entertainment Names Katie Hockmeyer Exec VP of Late Night Programming

    Katie Hockmeyer has been named executive vice president of late night programming at NBC Entertainment She will report to NBC Entertainment co-chairmen George Cheeks and Paul Telegdy, where she will work on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “Saturday Night Live” and newly launched late-night addition, “A Little Late with [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

  • 'Friends' at 25: How Warner Bros.

    'Friends' at 25: How Warner Bros. TV Built an Experiential Empire

    “Friends” may have been set in New York City and filmed on a Burbank, Calif. soundstage, but its reach has truly gone global. So when Warner Bros. Television Group began brainstorming ideas on how to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show’s debut, including that international audience became imperative for new partnerships, as well as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content