We’re barely into 2024 and the Miami content markets are already bustling, with NATPE Global coming to a close yesterday and buyers and distributors filling up their diaries with Content Americas just days away.
Despite a bumpy 12 months, there is still a lot of quality content headed to the global market and TBI has saved you some time by picking out some of the most promising titles currently up for grabs.
From crime, both scripted and unscripted, to futuristic animated adventure, here’s a look at some of the best new shows to put on your radar.
SHOW YOURSELF (DÉJATE VER)
Producer(s): Atresmedia TV in collaboration with Buendía Estudios
Distributor: Atresmedia TV International Sales
Logline: Ana, the assistant of a famous artist, begins to disappear – if she does not want to become invisible, she will have to change her life.
This quirky 8 x 30-minute comedy-drama follows Ana Callet, the right-hand woman to one of the most famous contemporary artists on the planet, until she begins to disappear – quite literally.
Ana realises that she has become so absorbed in her own bubble that she barely has any real connections with the people and the world around her and that if she does not want to completely vanish then she needs to make big changes in her life.
“Even though it might seem abstract, the main idea I wanted the series to convey was how strange life is these days,” reveals show creator and director Álvaro Carmona.
“I felt that due to new technologies, we’ve gradually accepted very odd behaviors as normal in our daily lives. This notion, coupled with the fact that nowadays everyone is an artist (or at least a content creator) thanks to our phones, led me to frame the series within the context of the art world.”
The show is set entirely from Ana’s perspective, a decision that Carmona explains helps to convey “how detached she is as an observer of the surrounding reality” and to showcase “the depersonalization of modern life,” while at the same time exploring “how close she experiences the consequences of that same reality in her quest to find her place in the world.”
Carmona adds that the show’s universal themes will make it appealing to audiences around the world: “I intentionally aimed for Ana’s existential angst and search not to feel tied to a specific location or type of character. Feeling understood, connecting with your family, striving to be authentic in a world designed to be superficial—these are things that resonate with everyone, whether you were born in Spain, Australia, or China.”
AFTER THE FLOOD
Producer: Quay Street Productions
Distributor: ITV Studios
Broadcaster: ITV & ITVX (UK) & BritBox International (US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland)
Logline: A devastating flash flood unearths the body of a murdered man, and a dedicated police officer sets out to find out who killed him and why – no matter the cost
When the town of Waterside is hit with the largest flood in its history, the community pulls together to keep everyone safe. However, three people die – one, an unidentified man, is found murdered in a lift in the basement of an apartment block.
Police assume he became trapped as the waters rose but when the autopsy reveals he died several days earlier, PC Jo Marshall goes to great lengths to uncover the truth. How did he get in the lift, who put him there, and why does no one know who he is?
“Jo’s a good cop who breaks the rules for the right reasons – the problem is that breaking these rules will come at a great cost if she’s ever exposed. So reluctantly, she has to keep her actions contained throughout the series, even though doing so becomes increasingly more difficult,” says Will McDonagh, script executive at Quay Street.
The 6 x 60-minute series is billed as a climate change mystery thriller, which delves into the green-washing deceptions of developers and local politicians.
McDonagh says that Quay Street wanted to tell a story that deals with climate change head on, but in an entertaining way.
“Our fantastic writer, Mick Ford, struck on this idea to put it at the centre of a murder mystery. We knew we’d be able to deliver a powerful message if we set the story within the heart of a close-knit community, one actively battling climate change, but also dealing with a propulsive thriller mystery.”
McDonagh adds that Quay Street “couldn’t be prouder” of the show’s ambitious opening scenes depicting a flash flood and featuring a complicated stunt sequence.
“Although we knew there would be some CGI work involved, director Azhur Saleem wanted to achieve as much of this practically – to put the audience literally into the water with our characters. This involved building a street set, which we were able to completely fill with water, and splitting the opening sequence between various locations, which our post-production team masterfully stitched together.
“Our cast was exceptional and committed to the stunt work wholeheartedly, and our crew worked tirelessly to bring the whole vision to life.”
THE NEGOTIATORS INTERNATIONAL
Producer: Peddling Pictures
Distributor: TVF International
Broadcaster: CNA (Singapore)
Logline: A deep dive into the art of hostage negotiation, one of the world’s toughest and most dangerous jobs
This 4 x 48-minute series delves into one of the world’s most high-pressure professions, requiring incredible skills and bravery in the face of often-lethal danger – hostage negotiation.
With exclusive access, the series follows top-level international negotiators in some of the world’s most dangerous hostage situations, from terrorist group Boko Haram to an American cop gone rogue, to a ruthless Mexican drug cartel and a Manila mall hostage crisis.
“Hostage negotiation is one of the world’s most dangerous and highly-skilled jobs and yet so little is known about it. I think audiences will love learning the secrets of this art,” says Julian Chou-Lambert, acquisitions & partnerships manager at TVF International.
He adds that the show will have international appeal because the hostage situations featured take place in different parts of the world.
“Audiences will be on the edge of their seats, as vivid dramatic reconstructions transport them into negotiation rooms, where one wrong move can prove deadly,” he says.
Negotiators participating in the series include former FBI chief negotiator, Gary Noesner, whose negotiation instruction manuals are currently used by government agencies all around the world.
“This series reveals that the art of listening is absolutely critical to a successful hostage negotiation, as it allows the negotiator to understand the hostage taker’s state of mind, demands and any weaknesses,” adds Chou-Lambert.
“Also, several of the expert negotiators featured are women, which shouldn’t be surprising, but is something that isn’t always reflected across the genre of true crime programming,” he says, with the show focusing “on brilliant women in law enforcement, alongside female victims of crime.”
DEAD IN THE WATER
Producer: Raw TV
Distributor: All3Media International
Broadcaster: Amazon Prime Video (UK, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands, the Nordics, Australia, New Zealand)
Logline: Three-part documentary tracing the decades-long hunt for a brutal killer across two sides of the Atlantic
In July 1978, the bodies of childhood sweethearts Chris Farmer and Peta Frampton were found floating off the coast of Guatemala. Decades later, long after the trail for their killer has gone cold, Chris’s sister, Penny, now a journalist, makes a shocking breakthrough in the case.
“The documentary covers the families’ agonising search for Chris and Peta, waiting in hope for any sign or contact,” reveals Keeley Van Dyke, executive producer at Raw TV.
Three months after their disappearance, authorities tracked down boat skipper Duane Boston and interviewed him. He stated that Farmer and Frampton disembarked his boat in Guatemala, claiming that they were into drugs. Two bodies then washed up off the coast and were identified as Farmer and Frampton: they had been tortured, hogtied and weighed down with engine parts.
“The families suspected the boat skipper had something to do with their deaths, but when Boston went on the run, police failed to investigate him further and with no concrete evidence, the case was allowed to go cold,” Van Dyke says.
Almost four decades later, Penny took over her family’s pursuit for the truth, searching for Duane Boston herself and, in 2016, finally finding his profile on Facebook.
“As she stared back at the man who she thinks killed her brother, she also finds his two sons who were present on the boat. Desperate for answers she messages the sons, demanding answers. The response she receives is shocking, leading to the case being re- opened,” reveals Van Dyke.
“Packed with gripping twists and turns, 1980s nostalgia and set in a tropical location, Dead In The Water has all the ingredients you’d expect from a high-quality boxset series,” adds Rachel Job, SVP of non-scripted content at All3Media International.
“Audiences all over the world will be captivated by this big budget series from Raw, the best in the business when it comes to boxset crime.”
BANGED UP: STARS BEHIND BARS
Producer: Shine TV
Distributor: Banijay Rights
Broadcaster: Channel 4 (UK)
Logline: Six well-known male celebrity inmates are incarcerated alongside reformed criminals, including those who have served long sentences for serious crimes such as murder
Celebrities go behind bars in this new mix of reality series and social experiment that sees six famous faces locked up with real criminals who have all served time for
serious crimes, including murder.
All are now reformed and have agreed to re-enter prison for this series, joining the celebrity inmates as they live by current UK prison rules. A former prison governor, with 20 years’ experience in some of the UK’s toughest prisons, and former prison officers are also drafted in.
“They have to live alongside real reformed criminals in a cramped cell for a week and survive in prison conditions: they eat, use the toilet, shower and exist
with no privacy whatsoever,” reveals Tim Whitwell, creative director at Shine TV.
“Prison forces you to live with others 24/7, there is no respite. Life inside UK prison is brutal, filthy, depressing and relentless. It tests character and resilience in an extreme way.”
The well-known inmates also have the opportunity to talk to the reformed criminals about their prison experiences and crimes – as well as examine the impact
of the prison system on them, for better or worse.
Different celebrities responded in different ways to their week-long incarceration, says Whitwell. “All underwent personal journeys throughout the series. For some it was dealing with their own boredom, intimidation and also their own opinions and past mistakes.”
Whitwell says that Banged Up: Stars Behind Bars has “huge potential to be adapted internationally” as it deals with universal themes of crime and punishment.
“Every country has prisons and criminals. Every country has to decide how to punish those who break its rules. Therefore, the format will resonate with audiences in a very visceral, familiar sense.”
Producer: Baby Octopus & Toybox
Logline: The legend of Robin Hood is reborn in 15-year-old Robin Loxley, a hacker who takes on the oppressive regime of the evil Sheriff in a 23rd century London devastated by climate change
Set in a 23rd Century London devastated by climate change, this 10 x 22-minute tween action-adventure series follows 15-year-old Robin Loxley, a bold, resourceful skyrunner and hacker who, along with her band of warriors, takes on the corrupt and oppressive regime of the evil Sheriff, Nottingham.
“Our vision was to forge an eclectic alliance of characters who, against all odds, form unbreakable bonds in their battle against evil,” shares Diana Manson, co-creator and executive producer on Sherwood. “We also wanted to create a formidable female lead and we got the chance to do that with Robin.
“Kids today are very concerned about climate change and its impending impact on the future, so we constructed a world that is tinged with dystopian undertones, but also exciting and hopeful.”
Each episode sees Robin and her friends go on a new adventure as they unite to thwart the Sheriff, his goons and their squad of ‘Drobos’ – a hybrid of squid and robot. Their mission is to save their community, friends and family from the devastating 23rd Century effects of climate change.
Along the way, they venture into the submerged tube lines of historic London, the docks and shadowy alleys of the Lower City (aka Sherwood) and the floating Upper City, where the Sheriff and his elite reside.
“Kids will love the adrenaline-fuelled journey of Sherwood – the fast pace, the high stakes, and the visually stunning world,” says Manson. “Yet, amidst all the striking animation, action, and cool tech, kids will mainly be drawn to the characters and their rock- solid friendships.
“Robin, Iniko, Gripper and Rose are a bunch of relatable, down-to-earth teens who just happen to be caught up in a world-saving adventure.”