ITV Studios has powered into MipTV with a slew of deals under its belt for both its homegrown British and international dramas. It has sealed free-TV deals for ITV series “The Bay” and pre-sales for upcoming BBC drama “Gold Digger.” ITV Studios Global Entertainment has also struck its first deals for Scandi series “Kieler Street” and “Hunters,” and sold English/Swedish-language drama “Rig 45” to several on-demand platforms.
“The Bay,” a serialized crime series set in a British coastal town, has been picked up by public broadcaster France Televisions, Kiwi pubcaster TVNZ, and Australia’s free-to-air Seven Network. The six-part series from Tall Story Pictures has also sold throughout Scandinavia, to TV4 in Sweden, NRK in Norway, DR in Denmark and YLE in Finland. In Asia, KT Corp. has snagged South Korean rights. The series opener launched strongly in the U.K., where it garnered a consolidated 7.2 million viewers and a 28.3% share.
France Televisions, Seven Network and TVNZ have also pre-bought “Gold Digger,” the character-driven relationship thriller starring Julia Ormond and Ben Barnes. The Mainstreet Pictures series will go out on BBC One in the U.K.
ITV Studios has been adding to its U.K. drama lineup with series from elsewhere in Europe. Norwegian thriller “Kieler Street” has been acquired by Swedish pubcaster SVT and South Korea’s KT Corp. The latter has also taken SF Studios’ Swedish-language drama “Hunters,” as have German free-TV player ARD, NPO in the Netherlands and VRT in Belgium. The six-part series is set in a small northern Swedish town where the prospect of a new mine leads to conflict between environmentalists and local residents who hope it will bring them a better future.
“Rig 45” has been bought by several streamers, including Starzplay, which has it for the U.S. and U.K., Showmax in Africa, and U-Next in Japan. The drama was an original for the Viaplay streaming service in the Nordics. It follows an investigator attempting to get to the bottom of a fatal accident on a North Sea oil rig. As she starts to suspect something is wrong, the rig is hit by a hurricane, cutting off contact with the outside world.
“Outstanding British drama is in our heritage, and the spring 2019 slate, including ‘The Bay,’ ‘Gold Digger’ and recent Series Mania Grand Prize winner ‘The Virtues,’ has yet again raised our game,” said Ruth Berry, managing director of ITV Studios Global Entertainment. She added that “as the tastes of global viewers adapt, non-English-language drama is increasingly important” for ITV Studios.
“We are already selling several series successfully and with more content from European producers in the ITV family, like Cattleya, Tetra Media Studios and Piv Bernth’s Appletree on the way,” Berry said.