Canal Plus acquires four series at MIPCOM

'Crusoe,' 'Mad Men' among pay TV group's new series

CANNES -- Robinson Crusoe, 1960s American advertising execs, Canadian cops and Italian criminals will all be heading to France with Canal Plus buying up Gallic distribution rights for four new series, the French pay TV group said Monday evening.

Canal Plus will air AMC's Emmy-winning series "Mad Men" as soon as November.

The network nabbed rights to the first season of the CBS and CTV hit "Flashpoint" in addition to brand new NBC series "Crusoe."

"The writers strikes have affected us in that they forced Americans to call on Europeans and Canadians, which opened the door for international co-productions," Canal Plus' head of acquisitions Sandra Ouiass said of Euro-Canadian co-production "Crusoe" and Canadian-American joint venture "Flashpoint."

Canal Plus also bought the first Italian series ever to air on the network, Cattleya and Sky Italia's "Romanzo Criminale," based on the hit film.

The pay TV network is expanding its local fiction production following the success of "XIII," a Power TV and Prodigy majority European co-production with M6 set to air on NBC.

Canal Plus is working on high-profile homegrown fictions including Tetramedia thriller "Pigalle," Capa's 52-minute costume drama "Versailles" and drama "Conspiration," which will explore Bonaparte before he became Napoleon.

"We hope to develop more international co-productions in the future," Canal Plus' fiction director Fabrice de la Patelliere said in an interview.

The network also has reinforced its documentary lineup with purchases of Sundance titles "Man on Wire," "Mr. Untouchable" and "Deep Water."