As buyers flock to Los Angeles for the May Screenings, TBI speaks with key players about what’s on their 2014 shopping list
What slots are there for US shows on your channels?
We have 10 channels, several of which we acquire first-run content for from the studios. However, at the LA screenings we are predominately looking for content for our entertainment channels Dave, Watch and Alibi.
How closely do you track series in advance, what are you looking forward to seeing this year?
We track from development to pilot. We have an expansive shopping list because we have several channels that we need to acquire for.
What are the notable US hits on your channels, do certain types of show resonate with your viewers?
Suits is now in its third season on Dave and continues to prove extremely popular with our viewers. It has exactly the right mix of wit and drama to appeal to the Dave audience.
We have an expansive shopping list because we have several channels that we need to acquire for
Over on our flagship pay entertainment channel Watch, supernatural thriller Grimm has secured a very loyal following and week-on-week well exceeds slot average. Plus, on our crime drama channel Alibi, we’ve got a brand new series of Perception, starring Eric McCormack, slated to air later this year.
What did you pick up last year?
We picked up Believe from Oscar-winning filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions. The series, which is currently airing on Watch, follows the story of a young girl with supernatural powers who is placed under the protection of an escaped Death Row inmate.
We also acquired futuristic drama Almost Human starring Karl Urban, Michael Ealy and Mackenzie Crook, which premiered on Watch earlier this month. Plus later this year we will screen conspiracy thriller Crisis, starring Gillian Anderson and Dermot Mulroney.
Who do you have existing programming deals with?
We have existing deals with all of the US majors. Most recently we acquired both Believe and Almost Human from Warner Bros. International Television Distribution and Crisis from Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution. We also have a number of new US programme acquisition deals in the pipeline, which we will announce shortly.
LA SCREENINGS 2014 BUYER PROFILES
Brian Walsh, director of programmes, Foxtel
Guðrún Helga Jónasdóttir, head of programme acquisitions, Icelandic National Broadcasting Service – RUV
Marcus Ammon, senior VP, programming, Sky Deutschland
Chrystele Fremaux, vice president, programming, emerging markets, Universal Networks International
Jacinto Roca, CEO and co-founder, Wuaki.tv