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Programming profile

New season, new slate from All3Media International

03-09-2021

Peta Sykes, All3Media International Sales Director for Scandinavia, reveals how the company’s new fall list reflects a changing market, with the pandemic and the streaming boom causing big changes in the territories it covers.

All3Media International’s fall roster includes sleuths, soccer, thrillers, period dramas, more sleuths, puns, and an actual kidnapping – a wide selection of titles that reflects the programming priorities of the UK based distributor, as well as some constants in a constantly changing market.

“We have always been a strong home for detective programming,” says Peta Sykes, the company’s sales manager for Scandinavia. “We have crime series with female and male lead roles, sets and series based on novels – both vintage and contemporary.

“We’re really thrilled with the breadth of our roster in this area – from New Pictures ‘new take on PD James’ period sleuth Dalgleish to the sleek Icelandic thriller of Glassriver Black Sands – as well as Neil Dudgeon’s 50th episode in as Inspector Barnaby in Midsomer Murders (he joined series 14), from Bentley Productions, and Annika with Nicola Walker. There is always a demand for strong crime dramas, and also for gripping psychological thrillers with solid castings which can be easily programmed. “

Peta Sykes,
All3Media International

For the latter genre, Sykes points to new titles such as the Buffalo Pictures drama Manhunt II: The Night Stalker, which “maintains a skillful and sensitive approach to recent cold crime,” and Angela Black, a Two Brothers Pictures series, owned All3Media. which she describes as “an intense and elegant domestic thriller with Hitchcockian overtones”.

Another thriller in the mix is ​​Hollington Drive, which originates from West Road Pictures, owned by All3Media, and follows two sisters separated by the disappearance of a local child. Anna Maxwell Martin and Rachel Stirling star in the series written by Sophie Petzal. Help, meanwhile, is a TV movie by acclaimed writer Jack Thorne, The Forge and One Shoe Films about the UK nursing home crisis at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, starring Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham.

More thrills, this time with a political twist, can be found in Total Control, an Australian show from Blackfella Films that has performed well in Sweden, Borgen’s homeland, while another Australian drama is also on the playlist. All3Media International: New Gold Mountain. Goalpost TV’s period show is “a thoughtful historical piece that reflects the diversity of the Australian Gold Rush,” says Sykes.

Angela Black
Angela Black

“To match our strength in drama, we’ve invested in high-end factuals over the past few years,” she adds. “Several of the playlist shows reflect this investment, including our exciting documentary Fever Pitch: The Rise of The Premier League, which tells the definitive story of the English Premier League.” The show is produced by Story Films, supported by All3Media and David Beckham’s Studio 99 for BBC2, and has been bagged by Amazon Prime Video in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, among other licensing agreements.

“We also have The Wimbledon Kidnapping, the real crime documentary of the UK’s first kidnapping and ransom case, with Rupert Murdoch at the heart of the crime,” she said. The documentary, by Caravan Media, prodco backed by All3Media, deals with the 1969 kidnapping of Muriel McKay, the wife of News Limited executive Alick McKay.

Beyond the drama and the factual, the distributor offers buyers a new list of unscripted formats. “There is a strong need for reality TV series and our list of formats is stronger than ever, with some notable series, including Traitors and Sort Your Life Out, already proving to be very popular. Our formats team is looking for the best formats globally, so many of our new shows in this genre are not from the UK, ”says Sykes.

Fever Pitch: The rise of the Premier League
Fever Pitch: The rise of the Premier League

Traitors, for example, is a game show by IDTV, owned by All3Media in the Netherlands, which was produced locally in Belgium, while Sort Your Life Out is a decluttering show that originated in the UK and also has traveled, this time to the Netherlands and the Nordic countries. “Maybe the fact that everyone has been at home has helped this new format start off so well,” says Sykes, of Optomen Productions.

The new formats are complemented by 100 Things, a show in which a family is challenged to live for a month on just 100 items per person, from Dutch prodco ICP, while the classic British game show Catchphrase is also relaunched, at following the takeover of IP by All3Media. former owner, NENT Studios UK, in June.

This is a new roster suited to an evolving market, and Sykes says the dual impact of foreclosure and the streaming boom has been a major factor in deciding which shows on the roster. “There has been a change in viewing habits,” she explains. “Not only are more people watching TV, the way they watch it has changed, with more audiences of all ages watching online rather than linearly.

Wimbledon kidnapping
Wimbledon kidnapping

“The Nordic market is very advanced and progressive in the SVoD landscape, with around 80% of Nordic households having access to at least one VoD service. It has been said that even traditional linear channels now see themselves as a streaming service first and foremost, and linear service is now secondary, ”says Sykes.

“Ultimately, it’s not just that the landscape has changed in terms of more streaming services available to consumers and to us, and it’s not just the big VoD players like Disney +, HBO Max and Viaplay which offer this service; these are all linear channels that also change their strategies.

All of this has led to a greater demand for scripted content, especially UK programming, as the biggest US studios mostly keep their content for their own VoD players. This means that European players have less US shows in their early days and therefore look to the UK to meet their needs. “We have seen a lot more competition for our titles and a lot more pre-sales have been made over the last few years to secure the titles in advance,” said Sykes.

Listing a few recent sales in her Scandi patch, Skyes says that Annika, Black Camel’s new Alibi / Masterpiece drama co-production, in which Nicola Walker plays a Norwegian sleuth, has been licensed to public broadcasters across the Nordic countries, as has Too Close, ITV’s psychological program. drama from Snowed-In Productions and starring Emily Watson.

“One of our Mipcom launches, The Holiday, has already found a home with a pay TV channel, and we look forward to announcing a series of sales around our flagship event in October. In addition, our Channel 4 documentary Ghislaine Maxwell: Life on Trial (working title) has already been pre-sold in the Nordic countries, ”explains Sykes. Based on TM Logan’s bestselling book series, The Holiday is a crime series from Projector Pictures, Clapperboard Studios and Night Train Media, while doc Maxwell is produced by Roast Beef Productions.

100 things
100 things

But, Sykes stresses, All3Media International does not see Scandinavia as a place to sell only programs, but also as a region from which it can source content for distribution, especially since the boom in local production Nordic continues. “In the past two years we have distributed two major Scandinavian dramas. Blinded is a brilliant Swedish financial thriller for CMore and FLX’s TV4, starring Mattias Varela and Julia Ragnarsan, and a second series is coming next year. It sold very well throughout Europe and the world.

The other Nordic drama the distributor has chosen is the aforementioned Black Sands, which airs on Channel 2 in Iceland. “Aldís Amah Hamilton, who plays the role of a detective, has a strong female role, and the show takes place in the beautiful Black Sands region of Iceland. It gets a lot of interest – everyone likes a bit of black Scandi, ”says Sykes.

Slogan
Slogan

Another Nordic drama has arrived at All3Media International via the NENT Studios UK deal. Close to Me is a dark new psychological drama and co-production between streamer Viaplay and Channel 4, starring Chris Eccleston and Connie Nielsen, which Sykes says has already been pre-sold in many territories.

In conclusion, Sykes says that while everyone is “certainly producing and acquiring more local content, there is still a need for good quality UK content. We also have an excellent catalog of formats, so we take advantage of opportunities for our locally made shows. “


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