You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Studiocanal Launches TV Production Company in France

Canal Plus original series head Arielle Saracco to chair the new company

PARIS — Creating a new drama series force in France, Studiocanal, owned by Vivendi’s Canal Plus Group, is launching its own Paris-based TV drama series production company. the move reinforces its European network of seven productions companies in the U.K., Germany, Spain and Denmark.

In early formal moves, Arielle Saracco, head of Canal Plus’ Création Originale – its original programming operation – has been appointed to chair the unit, which will focus on developing and producing in-house TV fiction series. Saracco will retain her position at Canal Plus.

Dominique Jubin, executive creative VP at Studiocanal’s TV unit, will serve as the new company’s deputy general manager.

An editorial committee is being created which will combine the know-how of Studiocanal and Canal Plus’ Création Originale. Françoise Guyonnet, Studiocanal executive managing director TV Series, has been tasked with ensuring the overall editorial and commercial consistency of Studiocanal’s TV production with that of all its Europe-wide production units.

Studiocanal’s new production unit will focus on co-developing in-house leveraging the expertise and ideas at Canal Plus and Studiocanal. It may also be open to co-developing with outside partners, said Maxime Saada, the CEO of the Canal Plus Group, who was formally named as Studiocanal chairman this week.

The new unit’s focus will “definitely be on French-language dramas,” he added.

Combining the talents of Studiocanal and Canal Plus in a French production company will “increase our capacity to offer series firmly-anchored in European culture with strong international appeal,” said Saada, The development is “part the overall plan to create within Vivendi a global leader in the production and distribution of European movies and series,” Saada added, describing Studiocanal as “spearhead” of this drive.

Maxime Saada Canal Plus Group

Studiocanal’s new production company will allow it produce and own more, acquire less, as IP ownership becomes a mantra at Vivendi. In the past, Canal Plus has financed up to 90% of its Original Series budgets. Currently, regulation restricts Canal Plus to owning rights to just 15% of the number of series it commissions. Otherwise it must license shows from independent producers and loses any rights to a series in a short number of years. That limits Canal Plus’ ability to stack series for binge viewing – it has to repurchase rights on series it near fully-finances, Saada said.

The regulation “also makes it difficult to develop the export of our culture worldwide because we don’t own the rights,” he added.

Given Canal Plus’ yearly output, even with the regulation still in place, Studiocanal can go straight into development on “one-to-two series a year,” looking to retain rights on what it produces, Saada said. It can also retain rights to series it produces for third parties beyond Canal Plus.

Canal Plus will continue to commission Original Series as before, Saada said. That makes a lot of sense given their success. On average Saada said, Canal Plus’ Original Series are sold to 80 territories worldwide.

Canal Plus Créations Originales take in such French premium dramas as “Spiral,” the first French-language show to be aired on the U.K.’s BBC4, “Bracquo,” a sometimes brutal violent cop show, far from the politesse of French Agatha Christie redos; trenchant political satire “Baron Noir”; “Midnight Sun,” a Lapland-set crime thriller co-produced with Sweden’s SVT.

Via its European network, Studiocanal has also produced shows aired on Canal Plus, such as “Spotless,” from Germany’s “Tandem,” and Harlen Coben’s “The Five, from U.K. company RED Production Co.

With Canal Plus continuing to produce original series, Studiocanal’s new production unit will also allow Vivendi to achieve a larger production capacity: a major challenge at continental European TV companies.

“French TV series are among the most appreciated by global audiences,” added Didier Lupfer, Studiocanal CE, also named CPG SVP for cinema this week.

“As a French company and a leader in our business in Europe, it was only natural to launch production operations in our country.“

Alexander Vlahos (Monsieur), George Blagden (Louis XIV)
CREDIT: Courtesy of Thibault Grabherr


More TV

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content