MIPCOM: 9 New Shows Set to Heat Up the Global Market

5:00 AM 10/11/2019

by Scott Roxborough

Are international TV producers ready for the streamer onslaught? Demand for prestige content is sky-high and competition is fierce for titles from HBO's based-on-real-events drama 'The Boys' to CBS Studios' adaptation of Stephen King's 'The Stand.'

MIPCOM - Graphic - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Tyler Golden/FOX; HBO; ITV Studios Global; Fremantle

The launch of new subscription video streaming services by Disney and Apple in November — soon to be followed by the likes of WarnerMedia's HBO Max and NBCUniversal's new SVOD service Peacock — will dominate discussions and impact dealmaking among the executives who'll descend on Cannes en masse this year for MIPCOM, the world's largest television market and confab.

The new streamers — joining such global players as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video alongside the currently domestically focused CBS All Access and Hulu — are a boon for producers and sales agents, providing a whole new market for top-end series. But they also raise the bar in terms of audience expectations and, by further increasing the sheer volume of series available, make it even harder for any new show to stand out.

"There's never been a better time for shows to get commissioned, but it has never been more competitive either," says Hakan Kousetta of Brit production group See-Saw Films, whose MIPCOM slate includes the star-studded BBC thriller The North Water with Jack O'Connell and Colin Farrell. "The expectations of the audience, and the buyers, are higher than ever."

Stephen Mowbray, a buyer for Swedish public broadcaster SVT, notes: "These days we say no to really great shows all the time because there is even better stuff out there. The stuff that stands out either has real star power or — like Killing Eve or Succession — feels unexpected and rewrites the rules of what a TV show should be."

These nine new shows all pack the sought-after mix of A-list talent and boundary-pushing concepts likely to spark buyers' interest at MIPCOM.

  • 'Deputy'

    Buzz Police procedurals are a tough sell in today's overcrowded marketplace, but this new Justified-style drama — which Fox ordered for a 13-episode season in the U.S. — is drawing interest for the gritty style of director David Ayer (of Suicide Squad fame) as well as the central performance from Stephen Dorff as a cowboy cop who is named acting sheriff of Los Angeles County.

  • 'Devils'

    Buzz Italy's costume drama experts Lux Vide (Medici) and Sky Italia (The Young Pope) exchange Vatican finery for Savile Row suits in this conspiracy thriller set in the chaos that followed the late-2000s global financial crisis. The presence of Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey could make this a hot seller for NBCUniversal.

  • 'The Luminaries'

    Buzz Channels on the hunt for the next big period drama could pony up for this 19th century adventure tale set during the New Zealand gold rush and featuring Eva Green and Yesterday star Himesh Patel.

  • 'The North Water'

    Buzz Quality British drama — from Killing Eve to Fleabag — remains in demand on the global market, and this new limited series from See-Saw Films (Top of the Lake) should fit nicely into primetime slots at top-end channels worldwide. Unbroken star Jack O'Connell plays a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as a ship's doctor on a whaling expedition, where he is confronted by the brutish killer Hendry Drax (Colin Farrell) and becomes locked in a struggle for survival.

  • 'Noughts + Crosses'

    Buzz The market for young adult series is huge, both on TV and SVOD, and this highly anticipated drama, adapted from Malorie Blackman's best-selling YA book, combines a tale of first love with the hot-button topic of racism in an alternative world where black people — called Crosses — are the ruling class and forbidden any romantic contact with the Noughts, the white underclass.

  • 'Our Boys'

    Buzz Like the surprise global hit Chernobyl, this HBO drama, which premiered Aug. 12 in the U.S., looks at recent history, this time the kidnapping and killing of young boys — Israeli and Palestinian — in events that led to the outbreak of war in Gaza in 2014.

  • 'Paradise Lost'

    Buzz HBO's True Detective proved that Southern Gothic sells, and this new mystery series starring Bridget Regan — as a Stanford-educated psychiatrist who uncovers shameful secrets when she moves with her husband (Josh Hartnett) back to his family home in Mississippi — could have the right mix of Dixie and dread.

  • 'Prodigal Son'

    Buzz The latest from hit factory Greg Berlanti premiered Sept. 23 on Fox and could fill a Dexter-sized hole in channel schedules with its twisted take on the crime procedural, featuring The Walking Dead's Tom Payne (pictured below) as a criminal psychologist whose father was a notorious serial killer.

  • 'The Stand'

    Buzz Stephen King's stock has never been higher — what with the success of the It horror franchise in theaters and the King-inspired Castle Rock on Hulu. This big-budget postapocalyptic series for CBS All Access, based on King's early critically acclaimed novel and featuring an all-star cast including James Marsden, Whoopi Goldberg and Amber Heard, ticks pretty much every box on international networks' wish lists.

    This story first appeared in the Oct. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.