News round-up: Série Series cancelled; Fred sells ER shows to UK; HBO & Rai renew ‘My Brilliant Friend’

Série Series 2019

Série Series 2020 cancelled, online replacement announced

French scripted drama event Série Series has been cancelled this year, with a digital platform called The Link set to take its place.

The long-running event was due to be held in Fontainebleau, a former royal residence south of the French capital, Paris, between 30 June and 2 July, but it has now become another casualty of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers are instead launching The Link to give European scripted talent the opportunity to meet and connect online. The platform will also feature a programme focused around creating European drama and include a library of upcoming projects.

A spin-off event, Série Series Africa, had also been due to take place in April in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, but was similarly cancelled due to the pandemic.

“We look forward to meeting in person again as soon as it will be possible, in Fontainebleau, in Europe and in Africa,” the organisers said.


Fred Media sells Oz emergency shows to UK

Sky and Discovery in the UK have acquired new factual emergency services programming, following deals with Australia’s WTFN-owned distributor Fred Media.

Discovery has picked up the 10 x 60-minute documentary series Emergency for its channel Really, following real-life medical heroes as they fight to save lives at The Royal Melbourne hospital in Australia. Produced by WTFN for Nine Network, the series utilises roving and fixed rig cameras to offer unprecedented access to trauma bays, examination rooms and triage, along with the doctors and nurses who work there.

Sky in the UK, meanwhile, has bought the second season of Paramedics, a 20 x 60-minute factual series created from 18,000 hours of footage filmed on the frontline with Australian ambulance crews. Also produced by WTFN for Nine Network, the first season of the show has already aired on Sky in the UK in 2019.

Mem Bakar, Fred Media’s London-based senior sales manager for the UK and Western Europe, was responsible for the deals. She commented: “In the current climate, these new series will provide enhanced levels of insight and appreciation for emergency services everywhere, delivered through the prism of Australian stories.”

My Brilliant Friend

HBO and Rai renew ‘My Brilliant Friend’

HBO and Italian pubcaster Rai have renewed Italian-language drama My Brilliant Friend for a third season.

Based upon the best-selling quadrilogy by author Elena Ferrante, the third season will adapt the third book in the series – Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay.

Created by Saverio Costanzo, the show was commissioned by HBO and Rai and is co-produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Fremantle’s The Apartment and Wildside, and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango. Italian prodcos Mowe and Umedia also co-produce. Rai Com and Fremantle sell globally.

The second season recently launched on Italy’s Rai 1 and became the nation’s highest rated drama in almost a year. The series tells the story of the unique friendship between two women – Elena and Lila – over many years.

A deal last month also saw the second season head to Chinese streaming giants iQiyi, Alibaba-owned Youku and Tencent Video.

“Bringing Elena Ferrante’s exquisite work to life has been such a joy and privilege,” said Francesca Orsi, EVP HBO programming. “The fact that viewers and critics alike have continued to embrace Elena and Lila’s story makes it all the more gratifying, and we thank the entire team led by Saverio Costanzo for their outstanding work on the second season. We cannot wait to tell the next chapter of Elena and Lila’s lives and friendship.”

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