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AMC eyes international Sundance originals

Bruce-Tuchman-002Indie content channel Sundance Global is looking at making original drama for the first time.

The international version of SundanceTV, part of the AMC Networks group, has programming from its US counterpart as well as acquired indie films, drama and docs.

Moving forward, original international drama could be part of the plan. “We are intrigued by the idea of creating original production for Sundance Global,” AMC Networks International boss Bruce Tuchman told TBI.

He added: “It’s not happening yet, but we are intrigued by the possibility. Our eyes are open to original drama or miniseries and it is something we are very interested in exploring.”

There are, however, no plans to move into originals at the international AMC channel, which is now in 115 markets.

AMCNI has been rebranding its MGM channels AMC and aggressively acquiring first-window rights to premium drama from the US AMC channel, which is distributed by Entertainment One.

It has first-window rights to upcoming US martial arts drama Into the Badlands as well as super buzzy zombie series Fear the Walking Dead, the companion piece to cable mega hit The Walking Dead.

“The demand on the AMC [international] side is for the drama coming out of the US,” Tuchman said.

The acquisitions budget for exclusive drama has increased significantly, allowing AMCNI to pick up Fear the Walking Dead and its other first window series.

In a fragmenting media landscape, pay TV platforms need channels with high-end, attention-grabbing scripted, Tuchman said. “It’s a period of distortion [in TV] and there are lot of questions being asked, but one thing not in question is that what people are willing to pay for is high-profile drama.”