Entertainment One has landed in Cannes with “Tricky Dick” after securing the international rights to CNN’s Richard Nixon documentary series. The deal comes as producer-distributor eOne moves more heavily into factual sales and sets out to acquire standout shows that can sit alongside its drama offerings.
Four-part documentary “Tricky Dick” is an original from news network CNN, which launched it in the the U.S. Produced by Red Arrow-backed producer Left/Right, it explores Richard Nixon’s life and times; tracking his rise, fall, comeback and political destruction.
The series takes in his early political career in California, to the game-changing Kennedy-Nixon debates through to his disgraceful Watergate exit. The archive-based series has never-before-seen footage.
“Its pieced together through archive so you follow it as people witnessed it, as it was told [at the time],” Noel Hedges, eOne’s EVP of acquisitions, told Variety. “You’re following it first-hand rather than being told about it by an historian. It’s a slightly more authored way of looking at the whole man and not just the resignation Nixon.”
From a TV business perspective, Hedges’ acquisition is noteworthy as an example of eOne’s push deeper into factual programming. In distribution terms it is better known for its scripted titles, but is broadening its reach.
It has already picked up rights to CNN’s fashion doc “American Style” as well as Hulu’s “Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie” and “Fyre Fraud.” Hedges said eOne wants to make more factual acquisitions and add a select number of buzzy titles to its lineup.
At MipTV the eOne factual slate also includes Discovery Canada space mission show “Make it to the Moon,” and U.K. shingle Spun Gold’s royal series “Inside the Crown.”
“We want to be distinctive in the market,” Hedges said of the acquisitions strategy. He added that shows eOne is looking to pick up do not necessarily need to be big budget. “It could be something with a modest budget but with some brilliant access or a brilliant subject,” he said.