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MipTV: Starz Moves for Major International Scripted Series Including Spanish Drama ‘La Zona’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Starz has struck a trio of MipTV drama deals, snapping up buzzy international scripted series “La Zona,” out of Spain, Italian crime series “Rocco Schiavone,” and German period epic “Maximilian and Marie de Bourgogne.”

Germany-based Beta Film distributes the series and struck the deal with the U.S. premium cabler. Company EVP Oliver Bachert said: “We are more than delighted that Starz acquired these series and we hope their audience will embrace the addition of new international high-end drama.”

La Zona” was a landmark drama in Spain as Telefonica’s first homegrown original. It follows events after a Fukushima-like disaster and a spate of gruesome killings that follow.

“Rocco Schiavone” is a 20-part Rai Fiction series that was a hit on Rai 2, doubling the channel’s average share. Based on the best-selling novels by Antonio Manzini, it centers on deputy police chief Rocco Schiavone. It follows the sarcastic and ill-tempered cop’s life as he is posted to a remote Alpine region. Starz has bought two seasons of the show.

Austrian-German co-produced “Maximilian and Marie de Bourgogne” is an epic 15th Century historical drama. It was produced by MR, Beta Film, Austria’s ORF, and German pubcaster ZDF.

The U.S. deals for the international dramas come as non-English-language fare is travelling well. Netflix has U.S. rights to Beta’s Sky series “Babylon Berlin,” and HBO is co-producing Italian-language drama “My Brilliant Friend” with Rai.

Starz has also previously played in the non-English arena, buying Norwegian mystery thriller “Monster.”

Beta Film has enjoyed a successful Cannes. It came into the market having snagged international rights to high-end period drama “Victor Hugo – Enemy of the State,” and has now sealed a deal that will see several big European dramas travel across the Atlantic.

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