MIPTV is determined to put on a show, despite COVID-19.
Cannes’ spring global television market was one of the first industry events to be canceled last year because of the global coronavirus pandemic. But, if anything, the pandemic has helped the international TV business. Small-screen consumption is booming worldwide, and with streaming platforms both old (Netflix, Amazon) and new (Disney+, HBO Max) hungry for content, demand for the next big thing has never been higher.
“People are thinking outside the box for new business opportunities and investing in series and underlying IP that might not have gotten global attention previously,” says Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein of ADD Content Agency, which recently sold Israeli comedy-drama series Uri and Ella to HBO Max and The Wordmaker to Topic. “We are also seeing a lot of local platforms, regional streamers, coming on board, producing originals and buying second SVOD and AVOD window for a variety of shows.”
“International dramas — Lupin, Money Heist, Narcos — regularly make the ten most watched shows on global platforms like Netflix,” adds Rose Hughes of Keshet International, whose MIPTV slate includes the Norwegian-German thriller Furia. “There is a huge and growing demand for strong character-driven drama, whatever language it’s in.”
The Croisette will be empty, but organizer Reed MIDEM is going ahead with an online-only version of MIPTV from Monday through Friday and has lined up an impressive group of onscreen talent to present. Music superstar Marc Anthony, who stars in this summer’s feature adaptation of In the Heights, will host a virtual keynote Q&A, talking to ViacomCBS International Studios and Networks Americas president JC Acosta about 30 years atop the global entertainment industry. Soccer icon David Beckham will talk about TV production, his small-screen shingle Studio 99 and its in-development miniseries World War Shoe — with The Late Late Show With James Corden executive producer Ben Winston. And Paul Buccieri, president of A+E Networks, will be honored with the second MIP Sustainable Development Goals Award for his efforts to increase diversity at the network, as through Lifetime’s Broader Focus initiative, which it credits for upping female representation among the channel’s writers, helmers and producers.
But the main focus will be on the shows, a bumper crop of period dramas, comedies, and action thrillers aiming to entice buyers, and viewers, worldwide.