The long-predicted end of Peak TV may come for us, as studios and streamers — adjusting to a new world of inflation, higher interest rates, and a slowdown in stock prices and subscriber numbers — cut costs and reevaluate strategy. The result, whether at Warner Bros. Discovery (which has already taken $3.5 billion in content write-offs and canceled several series planned or in production) or at the BBC (which has to cut more than $120 million from its original budget if it is to meet savings targets ) means less money for producers and, it is believed, fewer shows being commissioned.
Unscripted content, which is cheaper and easier to ramp up to fill programming slots, will be the most obvious beneficiary of this belt, with much of the emerging MIPTV market’s focus on less glamorous but typically more profitable reality TV, “shiny floor” entertainment (à la The voice) and game shows.
“It has always been the unscripted companies that funded the scripted companies,” notes Cathy Payne, CEO of Banijay Rights.
However, the market for original scripted and high-end documentary series has not disappeared, and with major players producing less, platforms and networks will look to the independent market for cheaper licensing alternatives. Happy, like THR‘s annual MIPTV Hot List shows, this year’s offerings of global drama are as varied and diverse as ever.
UP Squid game proved the appeal of the South Korean high-concept thriller, and this series from hitmaker Byun Seung-min (BP, The cursed) has a barrage that should evoke buyers: Innocent bystanders become trapped in an underground human organ trafficking auction house when an earthquake traps criminals and victims alike, sparking a struggle for survival.
SALE Paramount global content distribution
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN South Korea
UP Streamers and niche platforms looking for something different may be drawn to this unclassifiable new Israeli series, set in Carthage, a British POW camp built in the Sudan in the 1940s to house Nazi spies and Jewish “terrorists.” to house those fighting against colonial rule in Palestine. The show combines comedy, history and extreme violence in its stranger-than-fiction story about a Jewish comedian and British-born Nazi spy who team up for a daring prison break.
SALE Ehud BleibergUT
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN Israel
UP This near future crime thriller, from Game of Thrones producer Frank Doelger, is set in a city built on supposedly secure AI technology that is shaken up by an “impossible” hack and subsequent murder. It hits MIPTV just as ChatGPT-driven fear about the dangers of said technology is reaching fever pitch.
SALE ZDF studios, beta film
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN Germany
UP Winner of this year’s best screenplay award at this year’s SeriesMania festival, this dystopian sci-fi drama promises just the right combination of genre thrills and political messages, with a story about a wealthy nation that has (literally) cut itself off from the rest of the world. world. But when a pandemic breaks out, the inhabitants of the fenced land discover they are trapped by the fortress they built to protect themselves.
SALE Trust Nordisk
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN Norway
UP Nicely fitting for cross-border crime stories hits like The bridge And The missingthis Ireland-New Zealand series co-created by Karl Zohrab and Our flag means death writer Simone Nathan, sees the strange combination of an Irish cop (Gray’s Anatomy‘s Richard Flood) and a Maori detective (Mr Corman‘s Acushla-Tara Kupe) who team up to find an Irish couple who have disappeared from a rural New Zealand village. The community fears the disappearances could be linked to a series of historic murders.
SALE Red Arrow Studios International
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN New Zealand/Ireland
UP In this action/coming-of-age drama, Cantona plays James (Arendsvlei) as a young man caught up in the brutal gang life of Cape Town’s slums, who sees through his talent an escape into the extreme motorsport of spinning, in which drivers spin vehicles at high speeds while performing life-threatening stunts inside and outside their cars. The inventive premise built into the established crime genre should attract high-end streamers and pay-TV buyers to this new original from South African pay-TV group Showmax and France’s Canal+.
SALE Studio Channel
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN South Africa
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter magazine on April 12. Click here to subscribe.