TMG's MIPTV offerings
EmptyTMG International, Tele Munchen's world sales arm, launched just two years ago but started with a bang with CTV/CBS actioner "Flashpoint." TMG has sold the series, about an elite unit of the Toronto police force, to about 100 territories worldwide, with heavyweight channels including RTL2 in Germany, ITV3 in the U.K. and Veronica in the Netherlands among the buyers.
TMG International will be hawking the new season of "Flashpoint" at MIP TV this year, but it's hoping the model it used on the series -- co-financing the production in exchange for world sales rights -- will pay off as handsomely with another Canuck-based project, "Haven."
The mystery series from Toronto-based E1 Entertainment is drawn on Stephen King's novel "The Colorado Kid" and follows an FBI agent who discovers the small town of Haven, Maine, is actually a secret enclave for people with supernatural powers. "Haven," set to go into production this month, stars Emily Rose ("Jericho"), Eric Balfour ("24") and Lucas Bryant ("Queer as Folk"). Syfy network has already picked up the series for the U.S. with a planned debut set for July. Syfy's international networks have global pay TV rights.
TMG will also use MIP TV to show the first footage of its hotly anticipated mega-project, the $25 million miniseries "Moby Dick" starring William Hurt as Captain Ahab and Ethan Hawke as Starbuck in the Herman Melville classic. It's the second major mini in as many years for TMG, which last year launched the Jack London two-parter "Sea Wolf," featuring Sebastian Koch ("The Lives of Others"), Tim Roth and Neve Campbell. The "Sea Wolf" crew -- including director Mike Barker, screenwriter Nigel Williams and producer Rikolt von Gagern -- reteamed for "Moby Dick," which is set to deliver this year.
Targeting a complexly different demographic is the "Rosamunde Pilcher Collection," movie of the week melodramas based on the best-selling bodice rippers by the eponymous British novelist. TMG has ordered a new slate of 90-minute telefilms inspired by the books and will be preselling in Cannes.
But Tele Munchen's biggest production deal this year could take place far from the Croisette. TMG is circling Odeon Film, one of Germany's largest independent production companies, with an eye to buy the group outright. Odeon controls about a half-dozen small production outfits in Germany, among them Hoffman & Voges, producers of German Television Award winners "KDD" and "Turkish for Beginners"; and Monaco Film, whose lineup includes the ZDF crime series "The Criminalist" and "The Investigator."
TMG has already put in a bid for Odeon, but several other suitors are wooing the company's shareholders, including Jan Mojto's Beta Film and ZDF Enterprises, ZDF's commercial sales and licensing arm.
Even if TMG doesn't land Odeon, boss Herbert Kloiber has made it clear he wants to expand the company's production base. If he can't do it in Germany, he might start looking outside the country for opportunities.