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MipTV 2019: Key Deals, Announcements

It may have been a quieter MipTV this year, with attendee numbers down 5% from 2018 and key players BBC Studios, Fox Networks Group and Endemol Shine all absent from the market, but there has still been a buzz of activity over the past week. Variety looks back at some of the key television deals and announcements that were causing a stir on the Croisette.

SCRIPTED

*In one of the biggest deals of MipTV, Telefonica’s pay TV unit Movistar+ closed a multi-year distribution-production alliance with Germany’s Beta Film. Beta already distributed Movistar+ series on a title-by-title basis but the new deal transforms the arrangement into a partnership which will play through all stages of the value chain from early development. It provides Beta Film exclusive international distribution rights, excluding Spain and sometimes Latin America, to approximately six Movistar+ series a year. The two companies will also look to finance, develop and co-produce at least one drama series a year.

*One of the highest-profile titles in the market, hit German crime drama “Babylon Berlin” (pictured), saw massive international interest for its third season. Beta Film unveiled the first footage from the, still shooting, new season at MipTV and announced it has sold in more than 35 countries, including China via Lemon Tree Media. Netflix will stream the show in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Other international buyers include Blue Entertainment (Brazil); Movistar+ (Spain); Mediawan (France); NRK (Norway); Telenet (Belgium); YLE (Finland); DR (Denmark); pay-TV operator Viasat (Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, CIS); and HBO Europe (Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania).

*Viacom International Studios unveiled a raft of international deals including Channel 4 acquiring Comedy Central sitcom “The Other Two” for its youth-oriented E4 brand. Viacom also signed deals with Norwegian commercial broadcaster TV2 for MTV reality series “Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club” for SVOD service TV2 Sumo; Dutch pay-TV platform Ziggo for two seasons of AwesomenessTV’s new supernatural thriller “Light as a Feather,” and “Zac & Mia,” for launch on its SVOD service; Both “Light as a Feather” and “Zac & Mia” were picked up in France by Lagardere for its Elle Girl TV channel; while French commercial broadcaster TF1 nabbed Nickelodeon preschool series “Abby Hatcher.”

*One of the biggest drama announcements of the week saw details revealed on drama series debut “Perfect Monsters,” from “Roma” producer Nicolás Celis’ Pimienta Films. Produced with Telegrama Audiovisual and Tita Productions, the show, set in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1968, is based on an Argentine novel of the same name from writer and former police officer Miguel Ángel Molfino. One of the first TV shows to benefit from an Imcine grant, the series follows a 16-year-old who, after seeing his parents murdered, is picked up by an arms dealer.

*ZDF Enterprises snapped up rights to Acorn TV original British drama “Queens of Mystery” for non-English language territories. The deal follows a previous pact between ZDFE and Acorn on “London Kills.”

*U.K. indie Hat Trick International secured international rights to fantasy-laced police drama “Magnus,” described by series producer Anders Tangen as “Inspector Clouseau Meets Stranger Things.” It is produced by Norway’s NRK and Tangen’s Viafilm.

*Beta Film’s Sweden-based production company Dramacorp announced that it was developing romantic procedural “Cannes Confidential” with British writer Chris Murray (“Doctors”). The 10-part series, which will shoot in Cannes, blends comedy, mystery, crime detection and love story.

*BBC Studios and UKTV announced the commission of six-part crime drama “We Hunt Together” for UKTV’s Alibi Channel. Described as a“fresh, funny and dark roller-coaster ride” the show is written by Gaby Hull and explores the dangerous power of desire, questionning who is really to blame when the damaged do damage.

*Cottonwood Media and ZDF greenlit a third season of tween drama series “Find Me in Paris.” The show, which combines ballet, modern dance, drama and comedy, follows the story a time-travelling ballet dancer from 1905 in Russia trapped in modern-day Paris.

*The second Buyers’ Coup de Coeur Award at the MipDrama Buyer’s Summit was awarded to dark crime farce “Dangerous Moms” from Spain’s Mediterráneo Audiovisual, the newly integrated sales-production operation of Spain’s Mediaset España.

*Beta Film’s English-language cop and canine drama “Hudson & Rex” announced its first European deals just ahead of its official international premiere at MipTV. Italian pubcaster Rai has bought the Canada-produced remake, while the show has also been picked up in France by an as-yet-unidentified broadcaster.

*Imagina Intl. Sales, the international distribution arm of TV giant The Mediapro Studio, secured a host of of deals on catalog titles. Soccer club drama thriller “Side Games” was picked up by Global Content and Pickbox for former-Yugoslav territories, Tanweer Alliances in Greece, and TLT (LaTeleTuya) in Venezuela; Walter Presents took three Mediapro titles for its service in Belgium: “Locked Up,” “Night and Day” and “Lifeline”; Classic Spanish TV primetime series “In The Heart of The Ocean” sold to South Korea’s BGMC; and reality show “Love to the Test,” an Ecuadorean co-production, was nabbed by Canal 11 for Honduras.

FORMATS

*Magnify Media secured a raft of European production options on its new format “Naked Beach” ahead of transmission of the U.K. version of the show, which explores body image. The U.K.-based distribution and rights-management company has optioned the format to Keshet International’s Tresor Produktions in Germany, Vincent TV Producties for Holland and Flemish-speaking Belgium, and to Pernel Media in France.

*Talpa and Madrid-based media giant the Atresmedia Group further consolidated their relationship with the commission of a four brand new TV formats package for Spain, including Talpa’s latest reality show “Home Alone.” Other formats licensed include interactive game show “5 Gold Rings,” reality show “Trouble with the Neighbors,” and senior citizen based smash hit “Around The World With 80-Year Olds.”

*Fremantle and Mediaset España are partnering on new gameshow format “Game of Talents.” The show combines traditional play-along elements with a talent show format with each episode following a contestant and a popular celebrity who must work together to uncover hidden talents of 10 performers.

FACTUAL

*Franco-German broadcaster Arte, U.K.’s BBC and Canadian broadcaster CBC greenlit a new factual special titled “Takaya: Lone Wolf,” to be produced by the U.K.’s Talesmith and Cineflix. Set on an archipelago off the British Colombian coast, the series follows lone wolf Takaya, who survived on its own against substantial odds, and the bond it shares with wildlife photographer Cheryl Alexander who followed the wolf for five years.

*CBC also acquired factual series “The Operatives” and “Saving Lives at Sea” from Banijay Rights for its documentary channel, with the pubcaster securing pay-TV and VOD rights (excluding TVOD) to both titles.

*SBS Australia nabbed rights to six-part factual series “Secret Nazi Bases” from British independent distributor DCD Rights. Produced by Go Button Media for UKTV, Discovery Science US and Discovery EMEA, the series investigates lesser-known histories of World War II and elements of Nazi plans.

*ITV Studios Global Entertainment and production company Oxford Scientific Films entered into a partnership with Japanese public broadcaster NHK on a new 4K nature show titled “Wild Tokyo” ahead of the 2020 Olympic games. Focusing on natural refuges on Japan’s largest island, Honshu, the series will highlight the way in which wildlife has adapted to co-habit one of the planet’s most population-dense areas.

*Channel 4 bought U.K. rights to a documentary series “Lost Worlds: Deeper into the Black Sea” from U.K. boutique distributor Drive. The two-parter, which was three years in the making, follows an expedition to the depths of the Black Sea and a shipwreck graveyard containing what is thought to be the oldest intact wreck ever found. It is directed by David Belton and Andy Byatt, whose credits include the Emmy and Bafta-winning series “Blue Planet.”

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