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Italy’s Mediaset Distribution is having a busy virtual MipTV with interest surging – possibly due to the coronavirus pandemic – for its religious titles such as “Karol: a Man Who Became Pope,” while also scoring brisk sales with fresher shows.

Working via video meetings from her home in Milan, which has been hard hit by the pandemic, sales manager Claudia Marra is seeing a burst of demand, especially from Poland and Spain, for the company’s Catholicism-themed library shows.

Spain’s 13TV has snapped up “Karol,” which is about Pope John Paul II, and also mini-series “Fatima” and “Teaching the future, the real story of Maria Montessori,” about the Italian pedagogical reformer.

As for its lineup of more current shows, Mediaset has sold thriller “The Silence of Water” to French public broadcaster France Televisions, Armenia Public TV and Georgia’s Adzhara TV.

“Water,” which is set in a quaint seaside village near Trieste, turns on the murder of a 16-year-old girl that gradually exposes the small community’s dark side.

Mediaset is now launching sales on the second season of “Silence of Water” (pictured) that will air in Italy on Mediaset’s flagship Canale 5 in May.

Canale 5 period drama “Love & Sacrifice,” a historical epic spanning from the late 19th century through World War I and set against the striking backdrop of Italy’s Carrara marble quarries, was acquired by networks in Romania (Prima TV); Croatia (HRT); Albania (Top Channel TV); Montenegro (Vijesti TV); Latin America (Olympusat, Europa Europa); and Armenia (Public TV).

Marra said that with production on hiatus in most of the world there is an increased demand for readymade and long-running shows. And since dubbing studios are closed, Mediaset is mainly focused on offering shows that are already dubbed.

“Clients need programs now!,” she noted. “So the challenge is to get those masters delivered while respecting lockdown regulations.”