×

Darren Star Reflects on His Iconic Shows and Teases ‘Emily in Paris’ at Mipcom

Darren Star, the creator of “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Melrose Place” and “Sex and the City” who was celebrated at Mipcom on Monday and named patron of the upcoming Canneseries festival, said the iconic TV series he created struck a chord throughout the world because of their relatable characters and cultural grounding.

“I never thought of the international audience when I created those shows. You can’t consciously do that. But it shows you that there’s a universal taste when characters can translate to other cultures,” Star told Variety. “I think there’s something about these characters, they had a lot of heart and people honestly related to them.”

He also said there was “something cultural about these shows… ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ was about high school, ‘Sex and the City’ was about women’s sexuality and a frank, honest look at relationships,” said Star.

Speaking of his latest creation, the much-anticipated “Emily in Paris” which has been shooting in the French capital since July, Star said, “People could relate to the idea of being an expatriate somewhere and the experience of leaving home and starting life in a strange place because we’re more and more leaving home to be somewhere.”

Set to premiere next year on Paramount Network, “Emily in Paris” stars Lily Collins as an ambitious twenty-something woman from Chicago who moves to Paris to work for a French marketing firm and is tasked to bring an American point of view.

Star said the series also plays with the “romantic fantasy” that people around the world have about Paris. “The show embraces (that fantasy) it but also punctures it at the same time.”

He said the character of Emily is “not fully embraced by some of the French — she’s an American girl who comes to France and doesn’t speak any French, she has opinions about how to do things, but finds out ‘the American way is the best’ doesn’t always hold true and she makes a lot of faux pas,” said Star.

Ultimately, “Emily learns from that experience, and it changes her idea of what success is,” said the creator.

Star said “Emily in Paris” will have a more cinematic look than any show he’s ever done.

“‘Sex and the City’ looked beautiful, but this show is just gorgeous. It’s very cinematic. Television is much more like cinema now and filming in Paris was important, so we really made all the shots look big. It’s shot more like a film than a TV series.”

He added that Paris plays an even bigger role in “Emily in Paris” than New York City did in “Sex and the City.”

Addressing his future role as patron of the next Canneseries TV festival, Star said it was “beyond time that television series got the same kind of recognition that films do especially in Cannes, which I think everyone associates with Cannes film festival for movies.”

“Television has taken such an important place, it has huge cultural importance and i think that the audience are more passionate about television before, i think the level of production has just grown to be on parity with cinema,” said Star, who who was interviewed by Jill Offman, the executive VP of Paramount Network International and Comedy Central International for his keynote on Monday.

Star also said he was not interested in any type of reboots and prefers to create brand-new shows. “I’d rather put my energy into something new and I’m always excited about a whole new show,” said Star, referring to “Emily in Paris” and his hit series “Younger.”

More TV

  • What to Watch on TV This

    What to Watch on TV This Week: ‘Picard' Premieres and 'Shrill' Returns

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Star Trek: Picard” beams into existence on CBS All Access and “Shrill” returns [...]

  • SAG Awards 2020: What You Didn't

    SAG Awards 2020: From Charlize Theron to 'Parasite,' What You Didn't See on TV

    Brad Pitt made a crack about his marriages. Robert De Niro got political. And Jennifer Aniston talked about appearing in a commercial for Bob’s Big Boy. Those were just some of thing that happened on stage at the SAG Awards that were broadcast on TNT/TBS on Sunday night. However, Variety was inside the Shrine Auditorium [...]

  • Edges Unknown

    TCB, Cineflix, All3Media Announce Sales Ahead of NATPE Miami

    Miami’s NATPE market kicks off on Tuesday, but deal announcements are already landing. London-based TCB Media Rights has sold 130 hours of content to Latin America, Cineflix and National Geographic Latin America closed a deal for four titles, and Discovery Latin America picked up popular makeover format “10 Years Younger” from All3Media. TCB’s 130 Hours [...]

  • U.K. Broadcaster Channel 5 Readies Thomas

    U.K. Broadcaster Channel 5 Readies Thomas Markle Documentary

    ViacomCBS-backed U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 will air a 90-minute documentary on Meghan Markle’s father Thomas Markle. Markle and her husband Prince Harry sparked a global media frenzy earlier this month with their decision not to continue as senior members of the British Royal Family. Buckingham Palace announced that the couple are to lose their royal [...]

  • Tony Hall BBC Director General

    BBC Boss Tony Hall Lands at U.K.'s National Gallery

    BBC director general Tony Hall has been appointed chair of the board of trustees of the National Gallery. The executive, who has served on the Gallery’s board since November, takes over as chair from Sir John Kingman, who has been interim chair since Hannah Rothschild stood down from the role in September. Hall said: “The [...]

  • Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave'

    Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave' From Will Packer, Debmar-Mercury

    Fox Television Stations has ordered the weekly entertainment news magazine “Central Ave,” which hails from prolific film and TV producer Will Packer and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury. Debmar-Mercury and Will Packer Media will produce two half-hour shows per week of “Central Ave,” which tackles pop culture and other topics from a “socially conscious and diverse lens,” per [...]

  • Frontrunners Emerge As BBC's Tony Hall

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content