Drama round-up: ‘Fleabag’ sells into Japan; UKTV moves into ‘The Gulf’; Magenta lands on Mars


Fleabag jumps into Japan

Wowow in Japan has picked up Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s series Fleabag for its pay TV service.

The broadcaster has acquired up both 6 x 30 minute seasons of the hit series, which was written by and starred Waller-Bridge (No Time To Die, Killing Eve). The show was produced for BBC Three and Amazon Prime Video and also stars Olivia Colman, Hugh Dennis, Bill Paterson, Hugh Skinner, Brett Gelman and Sian Clifford.

It was produced by All3Media’s Two Brothers Pictures, with All3Media International distributing globally.

The Wowow deal also includes the first 6 x 60 minute season of thriller Liar, which was also from Two Brothers Pictures and produced for ITV and AMC. The show tells the story of a night that changes the lives of two people forever, examining both sides of a relationship and both sides of the truth. A second series of Liar is set to launch in the UK soon.

Drama thriller Baptiste (6 x 60’) will also debut in Japan, after All3 sold the show to Tohokushinsha Film Corporation. The series, another Two Brothers production, was originally produced for BBC One. Tohokushinsha’s recently acquired three-part drama Mrs Wilson from All3Media International.

The Gulf

UKTV moves into The Gulf with Banijay

UKTV has picked up three-part miniseries The Gulf after striking a deal with distributor Banijay Rights.

The 3 x 90 minute series will air on the broadcaster’s crime drama channel Alibi in early Spring 2020, and has also been acquired by Canal+ for its Polish channel, Ale Kino+. The show has already been picked up in the US by AMC Networks’ streaming service Sundance Now.

The deal was brokered by Chris Stewart, commercial director for scripted at Banijay Rights, and Daniel Thomas, acquisitions manager at UKTV.

Thomas said: “Our viewers are extremely discerning and The Gulf, with its unique take on a crime story set against the incredible backdrop of New Zealand, will have wide appeal.”

The Gulf launched at MIPCOM in October and centres on the moral disintegration of a detective, who finds herself caught between upholding the legal justice system and morality as she investigates crimes on her home patch of Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

The show was co-produced by Banijay’s Screentime New Zealand, Lippy Pictures, German fiction specialist Letterbox Filmproduktion, and broadcasters ZDF in Germany and TV3 in New Zealand.

Magenta lands on Mars drama with Beta Film

Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta TV has boarded science fiction series Children Of Mars (working title), which marks the latest project from The Crown director Christian Schwochow.

Magenta TV joins public broadcaster ZDFneo as co-producer of the six-part series, which is currently in development.

The show is set in a near future and sees an eccentric social media tycoon setting up the first manned mission to Mars as he attempts to lay the foundations for the future of humanity.

The series is from German prodco Neuesuper and has Simon Amberger, Korbinian Dufter and Rafael Parente attached as exec producers. Beta Film is international partner and distributor.

Cineflix Rights gets Happily Married

Happily Married

Cineflix Rights has acquired exclusive global distribution rights to new Canadian drama C’est Comme Ca Que Je T’aime (aka Happily Married).

The show is from writer François Létourneau and director Jean-François Rivard, who previously worked together on Les Invincibles and Série Noire. Montreal-based Productions Casablanca is producing the 10 x 60 minute comedy drama, which will debut on Radio-Canada Télé and Tou.Tv Extra.

Happily Married is set in the 1970s and revolves around two couples who drop their children off a summer camp before descending into a ruthless life of murder and criminality.

Julien Leroux, SVP of global scripted co-productions at Cineflix Media, said: “Happily Married is such a unique series with a fascinating mix between a crime series, a relationship drama, and a dark comedy. We’re thrilled to be adding it to our growing scripted portfolio and can’t wait to introduce the show to the international market.”

CBS developing Dutch drama with NPO

CBS Studios has partnered with Dutch broadcaster Avrotros to develop a new local-language drama series.

Bestseller Boy is a dramedy inspired by the novel of the same name that tracks the life of Dutch-Moroccan literary star Mano Bouzamour, documenting his struggles as a millennial navigating two cultures, overnight success and identity in Amsterdam.

Writers are: Robert Alberdingk-Thijm, creator of A’Dam & Eva, which is in development for remake at NBC; Franky Ribbens, who was behind Hollands Hoop, which is in development for remake at Showtime; and Pieter Bart-Korthuis, who created Penoza, which was adapted for ABC as Red Widow.

The series is being produced by Alberdingk-Thijm, Ribbens, Bart-Korthuis’ Midpoint Productions, Bouzamour and Alon Aranya, whose Paper Planes Productions also has a deal with CBS.

The project is slated to be shot in Amsterdam and Morocco, and has been commissioned by Dutch pubcaster NPO to air on Avrotros. CBS Studios will have worldwide distribution and international remake rights for this series.

The project joins CBS Studio’s slate of international series in development, including the previously announced Israeli drama, District Y.

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