The business of remaking drama series internationally continues to grow. While mega-budget new shows dominate the headlines, the likes of “In Treatment” are among the most-traveled scripted formats, and “Skam” and “Doctor Foster” are among the newer shows vying for top spot.
U.K.-based research house K7 Media has run the numbers and found that therapy drama “In Treatment,” is the best-selling international scripted remake of the past decade. The Dori Media-distributed show bowed in Israel in 2006. It went on to be remade by HBO in the U.S. with Gabriel Byrne, and by HBO Europe in several countries.
K7 has detailed the top unscripted formats for some time and its analysis is well-used by distribution execs selling formats, and buyers keen to discern trends.
“The scripted format business has grown,” K7 CEO Keri Lewis told Variety. “It’s the same as with unscripted, these are tried and tested formats. Often it is stories rooted in a specific place that will travel.”
For distributors the scripted format business is often about the long game. Quebec-originated comedy “Love Bugs” launched in 1997 ranks as the top selling scripted format ever with 34 international versions. Going yet further back, “The Golden Girls,” which started in the 1980s, is near the top of the most-traveled formats in the remake rankings.
Up-and-comers in the scripted formats business include “Skam,” the NRK multiplatform teen series, and “Doctor Foster,” which has scored remake deals in France, South Korea and Russia for BBC Studios.
K7 also examined what types of shows were ripe for the remake treatment. Telenovelas topped the list, but that business remains focused within the Lat-Am markets. Crime drama performs well, with the likes of Endemol Shine’s “The Bridge” and “Penoza” among the top titles alongside DRG’s “Black Widows,” and NBCU’s “Where is Elisa?” Thrillers such as Disney’s “Revenge,” and DRG’s “Eyewitness” also perform well.
Viacom-owned Argentinian broadcaster Telefe ties with Sony Pictures Television, as the companies with the greatest number of top-selling formats. The distribution arms of All3Media, BBC Studios, and Endemol Shine are all cited as fast growers.
The K7 report focused on sales to traditional broadcasters but its analysts concluded that the streamers will have an increasing role to play in the scripted format business.