MIPCOM: European Dramas Eclipsing U.S. Productions

Courtesy of Sky Italia

A small-screen 'Mortal Instruments' is among the projects generating market chatter

This story first appeared in the Oct. 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Europe is dominating at the annual international TV confab MIPCOM in Cannes, as continental dramas generate the market chatter typically reserved for U.S. productions. Constantin Film is expanding into English-language TV production, starting with Helix showrunner Ed Decter's small-screen Mortal Instruments, with production set to start in 2015. 

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The German giant is combing its catalog for other films to turn into series, with Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and Resident Evil high on the list. Perfume's Tom Tykwer won't be involved in the TV version, but his period drama Babylon Berlin has been one of the buzziest projects, along with the Cold War series Spy City, which France's Gaumont is producing with Germany's Odeon. Gaumont kicked off MIP on Oct. 13 with a two-series deal with showrunner Tom Fontana, who will develop the sci-fi series Falling Onto Mars and a drama based on psychologist-turned-hostage negotiator Ben Lopez's memoirs. Barry Levinson will exec produce both projects. And Fox's Sky Italia wowed with 1992, a real-life House of Cards set during the country's early-'90s political upheaval.