MIPTV: Crime Pays for ITV With Sales on 'Marple,' 'Lewis' and 'Vera'
CANNES – Agatha Christie's Miss Marple can hardly be considered the cutting edge of crime procedurals but the grey-haired amateur detective remains a strong seller for British TV giant ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which pre-sold a new sixth series of Marple to ten networks internationally, including France 2, Australia's ABC and United Media in China. Boston public broadcaster WGBH, which co-produces Marple with ITV, airs the show stateside.
Agatha Christie's other iconic detective, Hercule Poirot, has also been a strong seller for ITV, with the final, 13th season of Poriot pre-selling around the world at MIPTV.
It is a similar story for ITV's Brit procedurals Lewis and Vera. Lewis, the Inspector Morse spin-off now entering its seventh season, was pre-sold to Australia (Seven) and New Zealand (Prime) with season six going to Pramer for Latin America, NPO in the Netherlands and VRT in Belgium. China's DB Star picked up seasons three and four of the procedural, another ITV/WGBH co-production, which stars Kevin Whately at Detective Inspector Robert Lewis.
Pre-sales for the third series of Vera include ones to the Mystery Channel in Japan, Pramer for Latin America and Belgium's VRT, while series two has been snatched up for Korea (KT Corporation), Poland (Canal+) and Denmark (DR), among others.
"These dramas have enjoyed continued ratings success in the U.K. and are a staple of broadcasters’ schedules around the world," said Tobi de Graaff, Director Global Television Distribution, ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
The numbers for Britain, at least, seem to bear this out. The seventh season of Lewis premiered on ITV in January 2013, to a consolidated audience of 8.2 million viewers and a 26 percent share. The most recent episode of Marple drew 4.5 million viewers for a 17.7 percent share and the second series of Vera, which aired last year, averaged of 6.4 million viewers and a 23 percent share. Poriot, the first season of which aired on British TV in 1989, closed out its 12th season in 2011 with a consolidated audience of 5.7 million viewers and a 25.7 percent share.