Italy’s Lux Vide, the production company behind “Medici” and financial thriller “Devils,” is in talks for a U.S. adaptation of their local medical drama “Doc” after its recent bow to record ratings on pubcaster Rai. The show is also set to be showcased by The Wit’s Virginia Mouselier during MipTV Online Plus.
Praised by Italian media as a mix of “Doctor House” and “The Good Doctor,” albeit with a distinctive flair, Lux’s “Doc” turns on a prominent physician who following a head injury suffers a permanent partial memory loss but still finds a new way to practice his profession.
The medical procedural, starring Luca Argentero (“Eat Pray Love”) and directed by Jan Michelini (“Devils”), bowed March 26 on Rai-1 drawing more than 7 million primetime viewers and a 26% audience share, marking the best debut of a new show in Italy this year. Though the country being on coronavirus lockdown certainly helped achieve this result, other Rai-1 shows have not been seeing much of a ratings bump.
Argentero plays Dr. Fanti, who after being shot in the head by the father of one of his patients, loses all memory of the last 12 years of his life. Stripped of years of memories, his only option not to go mad is accept starting again as a doctor at the bottom of the totem pole but enriched in his profession by a newfound empathetic connection with his patients.
Besides posing a medical challenge, each episode of “Doc” depicts a different clinical case that also delves into the patient’s private lives.
“We are confident that we have a hot format for the global market on our hands,” Lux Vide’s head of business development Marco Rosi told Variety, noting that medical dramas are a genre that “when you get it right” have huge global potential.
Rosi added that procedural medical dramas are increasingly in demand from linear broadcasters for whom “appointment TV” is becoming “more important” just when it seemed streamers were set to wipe out linear TV, which is not turning out to be the case.
“Like never before international broadcasters need procedural product that will keep audiences coming back week after week,” Rosi said.
“Doc,” which will be showcased by The Wit during virtual MipTV on Wednesday, is co-produced by Lux Vide and Rai Fiction, and being sold primarily as a format by Lux in most territories.
High-end Lux Vide shows in the pipeline include Frank Spotnitz’s “Leonardo,” toplining Aidan Turner as Leonardo da Vinci, co-produced with Rai Fiction and Sony Pictures Television. Shooting in Northern Italy of this show was halted a few weeks ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.