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This story first appeared in the April 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
With Europe recovering financially, U.S. networks demanding programming as never before and VOD booming, it’s a great time to be in the television production business. But whether the genre is drama, comedy or reality, TV remains a hit-driven medium, and international small-screen hits are made at MIPTV. These shows are vying to be 2014’s global breakout.
There hasn’t been a truly global series featuring African-American talent since The Cosby Show, but this crime drama from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and creator/showrunner Courtney Kemp Agboh (The Good Wife) aspires to break the mold. Starring Omari Hardwick as a New York club owner and drug kingpin who wants to go straight, Power hopes to play like Breaking Good.
Tyrant, 21ST CENTURY FOX (FX)
With a pedigree that includes Homeland creator Gideon Raff and producer-showrunner Howard Gordon as well as Harry Potter helmer David Yates, this Middle East-set drama — ordered straight to series by FX — is about as blue-chip as it gets. International buyers gave Tyrant a standing ovation after an early screening.
The Honourable Woman, BBC WORLDWIDE
High-end miniseries are a must-have overseas, and a combination of the BBC and SundanceTV brands — with Maggie Gyllenhaal as the lead in this Middle East-set thriller — make Honourable Woman a frontrunner.
Elevator Pitch, KESHET INTERNATIONAL
The hot Israeli production company behind Rising Star now fields this audience-driven variation on a Shark Tank-style reality show in which investors and viewers vote in real time to determine whether a contestant, pitching an idea in a rising elevator, seals the deal or goes crashing down.
NCIS: New Orleans, CBS INTERNATIONAL
Procedurals are fuel for the global TV machine, and no one knows that better than CBS. With NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles already primetime successes worldwide, expectations are high for this latest spinoff.
Bosch, RED ARROW INTERNATIONAL
Among several original series ordered by Amazon Studios, this adaptation of Michael Connelly‘s best-selling detective novel franchise could set global sales alight with its combination of familiar police procedural and dark edge, set in the L.A. underworld.
The latest show from reality pioneer John de Mol (Big Brother, The Voice) takes the genre’s voyeuristic tendencies to an extreme: Participants spend a year cut off from society — but under 24/7 surveillance — as they create their own civilization. Fox picked it up after a successful bow in the Netherlands.
The Odd Couple, CBS INTERNATIONAL
The post-Friends period has not been kind to Matthew Perry, but CBS is betting on him (and co-star Thomas Lennon as Felix) for its reboot of Neil Simon‘s Broadway play-turned-sitcom. Multicamera comedies are hot: CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls are among the most successful series worldwide.
Thicker Than Water, ZDF ENTERPRISES
The Killing launched TV’s Nordic invasion, and the Danish political drama Borgen extended its range. This Swedish series — a Scandinavian drama about a trio of squabbling siblings forced to run their family’s bed-and-breakfast together after their mother dies — goes even further.
Gotham, WARNER BROS. TELEVISION
Hottest among a flood of small-screen superhero series hitting the market, Warner Bros.’ “kid Batman” drama examines the origins of the Dark Knight universe through the lens of eventual police commissioner James Gordon (Ben McKenzie).
Benefits Street, FREMANTLEMEDIA INTERNATIONAL
This factual series, which looks at residents of a British street where nearly everyone is on welfare, dominated headlines and ratings in the U.K., drawing a peak audience of 6.5 million viewers. FremantleMedia is taking the show and format global.
MIPTV takes place April 7-10 in Cannes at the Palais des Festivals.
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Jamie Lee Curtis