Cannes' annual television confab seems to have more confidence and flair this year from the sheer quantity of high-end drama vying for slots on primetime TV. After years where formats and gameshows were a broadcaster’s designated safe choice, the hour-long drama is truly back. Whether it is the US/UK coproduction model that has given birth to the likes the HBO/BBC period drama "Parade's End," being launched at this year's market, or "Hell on Wheels," produced by Endemol USA, eOne and Nomadic Pictures for AMC, the hour-long drama has made a return courtesy of a range of new financing options on the table.
With Hell on Wheels, entertainment giant Endemol is making a big move into high-end TV. The period drama, produced by Endemol USA, eOne and Nomadic Pictures for AMC, is set just after the Civil War. Anson Mount stars as a rogue confederate soldier bent on revenge against the union conscripts who killed his wife. Sales: Endemol
This fish-out-of-water crime series, in the vein of Monk, is set in the Caribbean and stars British comedian Ben Miller as a curmudgeonly cop who hates sun, sand and fun. Co-starring France's Sara Martins, the eight-part series was produced by Red Planet Pictures and Atlantique Production together with BBC Worldwide and Kudos Film and Television. Sales: BBC Worldwide
After Band of Brothers and The Pacific, HBO now takes on WWI and it's a very British affair, with the BBC, Mammoth Screen and Lookout Point producing this epic miniseries based on the novel by Ford Madox Ford. Two Shakespeare in Love collaborators -- writer Tom Stoppard and producer David Parfitt -- are on board to adapt Ford's tale of Edwardian England's decent into hell. Sales: BBC Worldwide
Photo by: Courtesy of ITV Studios Global Entertainment
'Red or Black'
Controversy has already struck Simon Cowell's new game show after a former criminal walked away with a £1 million jackpot on the first broadcast. But the X Factor creator is betting his gambling format -- contestants wager on the outcome of live stunts -- will be on the air in 20 countries, including the U.S., within 12 months. Sales: ITV Studios
Fox is seeking to fill the Lost-sized hole in international schedules with this mega-budget adventure series. The Steven Spielberg exec-produced series has presold to Canada, Germany, Russia, Australia and the U.K. Sales: Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution
'Into the Abyss -- A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life'
Fresh off his success with 3D doc Cave of Forgotten Dreams, German auteur Werner Herzog arrives at MIP with Into the Abyss, aka Death Row, an existential look at the lives and fates of inmates on the green mile. Sales: ZDF Enterprises
The new game show format from Deal or No Deal creator Dick de Rijk offers an altruistic twist: Contestants play not for themselves but for a deserving, and unwitting, friend or colleague. You Deserve It! presold to ABC and is looking to go global at MIPCOM. Sales: SevenOne International