“Call My Agent!,” the hit French show set at a Parisian talent agency, is set for a number of international adaptations with remakes in the works at top streamers and broadcasters in South Korea, Indonesia, the Middle East, Philippines, Malaysia and Poland.
Co-represented by France Televisions Distribution and Newen Connect’s TF1 Studio, the show was previously adapted in India, Canada and Turkey. A U.K. remake, produced by Headline Pictures and BRON Studios, with BAFTA award winner John Morton as head writer and co-director, will soon launch on Amazon U.K. and Sundance Now in the U.S. In Italy, the remake is being produced by Mediawan-owned Palomar for Sky with Luca Ribuoli on board to direct.
In The Philippines, the show is being adapted by Erik Matti, the critically acclaimed director of “On The Job,” who will serve as director and showrunner. Dondon Monteverde is executive producer. The writing team includes Senedy Que (“A Mother’s Story”), Jinky Laurel (“Tanging Yaman”) and Chris Violago (“The Last Manilaners”).
Ordered by HBO Go, the series will be headlined by Angel Locsin (“The General’s Daughter”) and Edu Manzano (“Marry Me, Marry You”), a local star involved in acting, sports and politics. The eight-part show will kick off production in April or May. The Filippino remake of “Call My Agent!” is part of HBO’s drive to create original content in Asia-Pacific.
Other topnotch partners for local remakes include MBC in the Middle East, Disney Plus in Indonesia, Astro in Malaysia and TVN in Poland. A South Korean partner will be unveiled at a later stage.
Created by Fanny Herrero for French broadcaster France Televisions, the French hit series — originally titled “Dix Pour Cent” — revolves around the personal and professional lives of a tight-knit but sometimes dysfunctional team of charismatic Parisian talent agents. The series wrapped its fourth and finale season last year and producers Harold Valentin at Mother Production and Dominique Besnehard at Mon Voisin Productions, a Mediawan company, are currently developing a “Call My Agent” TV movie. Besnehard, a former casting director-turned-producer, conceived of the original idea for the show, along with dozens of episodes.
Netflix picked up the series a few months after Season 1 launched on France Televisions’ flagship channel France 2.
“I remember when the series was first introduced to buyers at Mipcom in 2015, we had Cedric Klapisch (the filmmaker of ‘The Spanish Apartment’), who was giving interviews and Dominique Besnehard,” said Sabine Chemaly, who is head of international sales for films at TF1 Studios and reps the show and its format in “shared custody” with Julia Schulte, head of international sales at France TV Distribution.
“At the time, most French series that were successful were procedurals and cop shows, so ‘Call My Agent!’ with its comedic tone and Paris as a backdrop and main character really stood out,” added Chemaly.
“It was a very glamorous package and a totally different kind of comedy series in France, where the worlds of film and series were beginning to come together, not only with the stars doing cameos but also with Cedric Klapisch making his TV debut,” added Schulte.
The ensemble cast has broken through thanks to the show’s new-found global audience. Camille Cottin, who plays no-nonsense agent Andréa, starred in “Stillwater” opposite Matt Damon, and also had a role in “House of Gucci.” Laure Calamy, meanwhile, who portrays lovestruck secretary Noémie, won a Cesar award for her role in “My Donkey, My Lover and I” in 2021 and Venice’s Venice Horizons Award for best actress for Eric Gravel’s “A plein temps” in 2021.
Netflix initially bought the show outside of certain territories including France, Germany and Spain, and then pre-bought the subsequent season for the world. The show’s fourth season aired on France Televisions before it rolled out on Netflix globally.
The variety of streamers and networks attached for the international remakes underscores the versatility of ‘Call My Agent!,” said Schulte. “It’s a multi-faceted show which appeals to wide-ranging audiences, from pay TV to public broadcasters and streaming services.”
All seven remakes are expected to go into production in 2022. Three or four more remakes will follow, including in the Czech Republic, Greece, Germany and Spain, according to the sales agents.
In each territory, “the format is being adapted by producers who have access to the local talent pool,” said Chemaly. The executive said the adaptations won’t be straight copies of the original format, but will celebrate the unique aspects of their respective industries. The U.K. remake, for instance, will have a significant emphasis on the world of live theater because the West End plays such a major role in the British biz.