Cannes – MIPTV 2017 provided ample dramas for the thousands of delegates from over 100 countries in Cannes with a host of high-end projects being brought to market from around the world. From Sky Vision’s World Premiere TV Screening of Cote D’Azur-based Riviera, to the latest unseen episode of Canal+’s ‘Engrenages,’ and the first Asian World Premiere TV Screening of Kansai TV’s Crisis, MIPTV confirmed that in the multi-platform environment, standout drama is focusing minds on original story-telling and an increasing number of production alliances are taking shape between television heavyweights and the online superpowers.
April 2 saw over 450 buyers at the second edition of the MIPDrama Screenings where projects from 12 finalists were judged by a Grand Jury of industry leaders. Prizes went to Globo’s Jailers, Beta Films’ Babylon Berlin,AB International Distribution’s sci-fi adventure Missions, STUDIOCANAL’s Danish drama Ride Upon the Storm, and all3media’s Clique. A number of the 12 shortlisted titles and prize winners reported sales during the market.
For the first time in the history of MIPTV, the 2,000 drama buyers in Cannes were treated to MIPDrama Pre-LA Screenings sneak previews of shows from Disney Media Distribution and Lionsgate. Among the shows that the two studios previewed, Lionsgate’s key title was the new TV series version of classic movie Dirty Dancing, Disney Media Distribution’s slate included Marvel’s Inhumans and Cloak & Dagger, also from Marvel.
Day one of MIPTV drew French and international media to a packed press conference devoted to Cannes Series , the new international festival for TV series that will run alongside MIPTV in 2018 and which is backed by Reed MIDEM and Canal+. The MIPDoc and MIPFormats events that took place on the weekend before MIPTV brought together 1,800 participants making it the world’s biggest market for unscripted programming. Speaking at MIPFormats, Conrad Riggs, head of unscripted at Amazon Originals, said he would be focusing on satisfying the growing demand for reality following Amazon Prime Video’s decision to go global at the end of last year. Upcoming projects include Le Mans: Racing Is Everything, from the UK’s New Black Films, and Lore, based on the popular podcast by Aaron Mahnke, which re-tells true stories based on supernatural events.
There was a resurgence of reality entertainment programming from the US. NBC’s Paul Telegdy and Meredith Ahr gave a keynote presentation which spoke of the importance, locally, of big-budget entertainment shows The Wall, Little Big Shots, the soon-to-be- launched World of Dance, and how these home-grown successes will work globally too. Lionsgate’s Sandra Stern announced a game-show based on mobile game Candy Crush that will premiere on CBS in July. And among its unscripted shows MGM Television brought Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, a competition show for budding entrepreneurs.
In the documentary sector, MIPDoc delegates were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about high-end projects that were screened in Cannes. These included NHK’s Tokyo Phoenix: The Rise of Modern Japan from NHK, Arte France and CC&C. PBS International presented excerpts from The Vietnam War to a rapturous reception, while 4KHD co-production Big Pacific provided distributor ZDF Enterprises with the most-watched programme in the MIPDoc Screenings. Presenter, philosopher Jason Silva came to Cannes to highlight his new series for Fox, Origins: The Journey of Humankind.
Among the highlights of this year’s MIPTV were the International Emmy Kids Awards which celebrates excellence in children’s programming. During the gala dinner seven winners from four countries: Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom were awarded the prestigious statue. MIPTV’s Médaille d’Honneur gala evening paid tribute to Zhao Yifang, President and Founder of China’s Huace Group, Alexander Coridass, President and CEO ZDF Enterprises, Viacheslav Murugov, CEO of Russia’s CTC Media and Amazon Studios’ Vice President Roy Price.
Amazon’s move to take its Amazon Prime Video platform international meant that Roy Price’s MIPTV keynote address was one of the most eagerly-anticipated presentations of MIPTV. Having screened clips from new action series Jack Ryan, Price told his audience that content development is critical to growing the platform’s subscriber base in the 240 countries it now serves. 2016 saw Amazon invest some $3 billion in programming with flagship The Grand Tour accounting for between $160 million to $200 million of that sum.
Gilles Pelisson, chairman and CEO of French commercial broadcasting group TF1, was presented with Variety’s 2017 Achievement in International Television Award. During a keynote address in the Grand Auditorium Pelisson laid out TF1’s strategy for maintaining its leadership position in the face of digital disruption by building up a robust portfolio of sister channels while at the same time maintaining a strong flagship TF1 channel.
A series of 4K UHD screening sessions showed a wealth of content that is being produced as consumer take-up of hardware picks up. Japan is on a mission to have 4K Ultra HD and 8K broadcast in at least 50% of Japan’s TV homes in time for the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, said Masayuki Suga, deputy director at the government’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Furthermore, 4K penetration in TV homes should reach 100% by 2025, he added during a presentation called Japan’s Road Map for 4K Ultra HD, and Beyond.
With 10,500 delegates, 1,500 exhibiting companies, 3,800 buyers from some 100 countries represented, MIPTV is the largest international entertainment market for the first half of the year. “With the many new initiatives introduced recently including MIPDrama Screenings, Pre-LA Screenings, VR focus and the announcement of Cannes Series festival, MIPTV is poised to drive the international TV industry forward,” said Laurine Garaude, Director of the Television Division, Reed MIDEM.