MIPCOM Drama round-up: SPT takes ‘Doc’ to US; NTV’s Russian dramas sell in Asia; ‘Babylon Berlin’ sales; BBCS, NENT & more…


Sony preps US remake of Lux Vide’s drama Doc

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has picked up exclusive format and distribution rights to Lux Vide’s Italian primetime medical drama Doc – Nelle Tue Mani, with a US remake in the works.

The show, which debuted on Italian pubcaster Rai Uno, is based on a true story about a doctor who suffers a memory loss affecting the past 12 years of his life following a serious head injury, but finds a new way to practice his profession.

The series premiered in March and drew nearly 8 million primetime viewers and a 30% audience share, marking it as as the most-watched show on Italian TV in the last 13 years.

The deal is the second scripted format collaboration between Lux Vide and SPT, which have just wrapped production on Aidan Turner-starring drama Leonardo.The English-language show was on the launch slate for The Alliance, the commissioning club founded in 2018 by European pubcasters Rai, ZDF and France Télévisions.

Luca Bernabei, Lux Vide CEO, said: “We are incredibly proud of this series and it is a shining example of Lux Vide building its alliance with SPT as we continue to expand our storytelling in major markets around the world.

“We feared that some people might turn away from medical storylines amid the pandemic but the opposite was true. This is a remarkable story of a doctor who has an ability for transforming his illness into a force for good. Medical stories that explore real-life heroes who step up on behalf of society when the worst things imaginable happen, have never been more relevant.”

Mike Wald, EVP of distribution & networks at SPT, said: “We can’t wait to bring this Italian original to the global marketplace, as well as to work with partners around the world, including here in the US, to develop local adaptations. We immediately loved this series when we saw it, and we are pleased to continue our collaborative relationship with Luca and all the team at Lux.”

Noble Detective

NHK welcomes NTV’s Noble Detective

Sony Pictures Entertainment-owned AXN Mystery in Japan is to air Noble Detective, the period drama from Russia’s NTV, following a deal with Japan’s NHK Enterprises.

The channel – whose acquisitions are overseen by NHK Enterprises – will air the drama in February, marking the first sale of the show in Asia. The show is set in the imperial Russia of the early 20th century and follows an aristocrat who becomes a detective.

Elsewhere, Japanese distributor Trans World Associates has bought VOD rights to NTV’s thriller Schubert, which will be added to the company’s catalogue. The deal follows the acquisition of the show by Chinese streaming giant BiliBili.

Schubert tracks a man with a unique ability to discern sounds and catch the noises ordinary people cannot hear whose career within an anti-terrorism unit falls apart after a single mistake.

The deals are the latest for NTV, which has previously sold Paper Pusher to Indian content distributor GoQuest Media and Countdown to Arait Multimedia in Vietnam.

Timur Weinstein, NTV’s general producer, said: “Asia is one of the most important markets for us. Few Russian TV shows have been aired on Asian channels so far but we can see the growing interest for Russian content, especially action-packed crime stories and period dramas, from Asian players and TV viewers.”

Babylon Berlin

Lat Am, Asia visit Beta’s Babylon Berlin

AMC in Latin America, BS 12 in Japan and South Korea’s Channel U have picked up rights to Beta Film’s flagship drama Babylon Berlin, which has now sold into more than 140 territories.

The drama is produced by X Filme Creative Pool in co-production with ARD Degeto, WDR, Sky and Beta Film, with Tom Tykwer (Sense 8), Henk Handloegten (Good Bye Lenin!) and Achim von Borries (Alone In Berlin) attached as director/writers.

It is based on the bestselling novels by Volker Kutscher and revolves around a police inspector working during the 1920s.

The firs three episodes of the third season premiered on German public broadcaster ARD and its free VOD platform last Sunday, scoring more than 4 million viewers and a 13.6% share, plus 2.3 million online viewers within the first four days. The next three episodes will be screened tonight during primetime on ARD.


NENT preps Wisting return

Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) is preparing to launch a second season of its Norwegian crime drama Wisting.

The show, whose first season was acquired by the UK’s BBC Four and Sundance Now in the US, will launch exclusively on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service across the Nordic and Baltic regions in spring 2021.

The eight-part second run is written and directed by Trygve Allister Diesen (The Third Eye), with Vegard Steiro Amundsen and Jadranko Mehic (Lilyhammer) as co-writers. Nordic firm Cinenord produces in cooperation with Germany’s ARD Degeto.

The second season will again follow detective William Wisting (Sven Nordin) taking on two of the most challenging cases of his career. He first faces a race against time to hunt down an escaped killer before the latter can strike again, and then has to solve the macabre mystery behind an unknown woman’s head placed on a spike in the centre of Larvik.

Filippa Wallestam, NENT Group chief content officer, said: “The first season was a landmark, both for Viaplay’s position as the home of unique Nordic storytelling and for the entire noir genre, and viewers around the world have demanded a follow-up ever since.”

The series is based on Jørn Lier Horst’s Wisting books, which have sold over 1.2 million copies in Norway and been translated into 30 languages.

Doctor Foster

Vietnam bags BBC Studios dramas

Vietnam Satellite Digital Television (VSTV) has struck a deal that will see it offering four dramas from BBC Studios (BBCS).

Drama Republic’s Doctor Foster (S1 & S2), Lookout Point’s Les Misérables, Mainstreet Pictures’ Unforgotten (S1 – S3) and the first five seasons of Luther will all be made available for the first time in Vietnam on VSTV’s streaming and pay TV service K+ platform.

VSTV is a joint venture between the national television broadcaster for Vietnam, VTV, and Canal Overseas, the distribution subsidiary of France’s Canal+ Group.

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