MADRID — Be-Entertainment has acquired international distribution rights to Canneseries competition contender “Studio Tarara,” the scripted series debut of Tim Van Aelst who has won non-scripted or comedy Intl. Emmy Awards in 2018 (“Did You Get the Message”?), 2014 (“What If?”) and 2011 (“Benidorm Bastards”).
The last sparked an NBC remake, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers,” developed by Van Aelst.
To be introduced to buyers at MipTV, “Studio Tarara” also marks the move into fiction for Be Entertainment, headed by former Talpa Global sales head Gepke Nederlof, and set up in 2017 as a non-fiction format company.
Written by Van Aelst, David Vennix (“What If?”) and directed by Van Aelst and Wim Guedens, “Studio Tarara” is also the latest show from Antwerp-based Shelter, where Van Aelst and Vennix and based.
Produced by Shelter/Toreador. Proximus and Medialaan-owned Flemish commercial channel VTM, “Studio Tarara” kicks in with a police car arriving at night in August 1993 at “Studio Tarara,” a physical studio housing the comedy sketch TV show of the same name where someone has jumped or been pushed from the roof of the studio. Their identity is teased to the audience spiking viewer interest in what kicks in as a largely comic behind-the-scenes lid lifter on the hard drinking, partying cast and crew of “Studio Tarara,” a comedy sketch show.
But events take a more tragic turn as star Ricki is revealed as a addicted to alcohol and drugs, female star comedian Sandra to sex and Jean, who stands in for Ricki after the latter goes on a bender, an exhibitionist sexual abuser. All seems engulfed in a spiral of self destruction as “Studio Tarara,” a clear post MeToo show, expands to tackle large issues such as the gender pay gap, toxic masculinity, and the abuse of power.
“Studio Tarara” bowed in February on VTM in Belgium, where it is set, for a bullish 31.8% market share and upbeat reviews, “Everything about this series feels right. It’s nostalgic, but not cheesy. The performances are great, the dialogues fresh and the direction skillful and with speed,” said De Standaard.
“Studio Tarara”has also been nominated for the New York Festival’s TV & Film Awards.
“Studio Tarara” is a smart and fresh way of bringing so many different genres together, which is clearly becoming somewhat of a Belgian trademark. It combines drama and comedy with unexpected depth,” Nederlof said.
One of two shows from Flanders to make Canneseries’ main competion cut – a sign of the build in its high-end scripted since shows such as “Hotel Beau Séjour” helped launch Belgian Noir in 2016, winning Series Mania.
“Studio Tarara” receives its Pink Carpet international premiere at Caneseries on April 9. It will be presented at Canneseries by Van Aelst, producer Sofie Peeters, who also produced all three of Shelter’s Emmy winners, Vennix, Geudens, and actors Van den Begin, and Geert Van Rampelberg, Janne Desmet and Lauren Versnick.
Be-Entertainment will also represent a second scripted title at Cannes, ‘Gina & Chantal,’ produced by Sylvester for VTM in Belgium. Described as a fell-good dremedy, it turns on Gina, whose life is turned upside down after her husband ends up in coma.