MIPCOM: 'Criminal Minds' Producer Mark Gordon: "I Don't Think There's Too Much Good Television"

Mark Gordon Portrait for THR - P 2011
Peden + Munk

Mark Gordon Portrait for THR - P 2011

The prolific producer said he wants to do more procedurals with international partners, including 'Darkness Falls' with Germany's ProSiebenSat 1 TV Deutschland.

Is there really too much TV out there?

Don't tell Grey's Anatomy producer Mark Gordon that.

"I don't think there's too much good television," he told MIPCOM during a keynote address on Tuesday, suggesting TV abundance and talk of a content bubble building was hardly the industry's biggest challenge.

The Mark Gordon Company is behind other TV hits, such as Criminal Minds, Quantico and Ray Donovan, and the prolific producer insisted creative and popular procedurals especially can be supported by the international market.

An example is Darkness Falls, a procedural Gordon is developing with Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland, and the Hollywood producer's first international co-production. The drama is based on a script by Criminal Minds alum Erica Messer and Janine Sherman Barrios

Their script was first developed as a pilot for CBS, but is now being reversioned for the international market. "I hope this will be the beginning of many co-productions for us. We're doing network, cable, smaller and bigger shows, but on the international side we're focused on finding the right procedurals for the international market," Gordon explained. 

Entertainment One, which whom The Mark Gordon Company has partnered on a film and TV studio, will distribute internationally. The Mark Gordon Company and ProSiebenSat.1 will co-finance Darkness Falls, which sees two FBI agents go to small towns to solve horrific crimes.   

The problem with doing more procedurals domestically, Gordon claimed, was U.S. networks, with the exception of CBS, are far less interested in procedurals these days than their world-facing sister studios. "From an economic point of view, the domestic studios do well with procedurals, but the domestics [networks] are less interested in them all the time," Gordon told the Cannes TV trade fair.

Gordon joined up with eOne after leaving his overall deal with ABC Studios. He lauded the benefits of now being an indie player. For starters, he said it allowed him to work with other film and TV producers.

"Rarely do producers work with other producers. I can work with some other people, whose work I've long admired and had looked for ways to work with them," he said. In addition, Canada-based eOne brings distribution heft and has allowed Gordon to focus more on the international market.

"My focus has always been pretty much purely as a storyteller, creating things, and relying on ABC to take the best opportunity to exploit the product. I'm getting the opportunity now to learn from the folks at eOne, and they're really good at it," he said.

The latest project from the award-winning producer is the Steve Jobs biopic starring Michael Fassbender, which hits theaters later this week.

"I hope so," Gordon said when asked whether the movie would reach the awards season corridor.

Oct. 6, 3 p.m. Updated with details on Darkness Falls, a procedural The Mark Gordon Company is developing.