Local Hits with International potential

Local Hits with International potential
At the last Series Mania Forum 2024, Beatrice Rossmanith, Head of Global Business at Glance, has reviewed the best 2023 TV series that turned into a global hit. The bulk of them originates from the US and the UK. Among the most exported scripted series launched since January 23 she mentioned "Nolly" from ITVX, a spy drama and true story launched in 2022 but continues to sell internationally, as well as the ITV true crime drama "The Hunt for Raoul Moat", and the ITVX medical drama "Malpractice". "All these UK programs have travelled mostly to free-to-air broadcasters around Western Europe," Rossmanith asserted. From the United States, she listed network dramas like "Fire Country" (CBS), "Alert: Missing Persons Unit" (fox), "Accused", which was an anthology series based on ABC formats for Fox, The Rookie, spin-off for ABC, and the reboot of time-travelling drama "Quantum Leap" for NBC. Leaving the UK and the US, Australian comedy "College from Accounts" had also a good 2023, and more generally speaking, "last year saw a spotlight thrown on Australian content," Rossmanith confirmed. From France, Glance executive highlighted the biopic "Bardot" which has secured a window on Netflix across France, Benelux, and Germany, in addition to seven other linear windows across Europe, and from Ukraine, the drama anthology, "Those Who Stayed", inspired by true stories following the invasion. Finally, Rossmanith pointed out Turkish Romance "Golden Boy", now in its second season and travelling extensively to LATAM, CEE, and South Africa.


In the family category, Rossmanith included "Golden Boy" distributed by Eccho Rights, a classic Turkish family drama with issues of dynasties, traditions, and complex dynamics between family members. The Vietnamese series translating as "Father's Gift" that almost quadruples the channel's average market share (VTV3) in all strategic demos, and "can be used as an illustration of the appeal of storytelling, focusing on ordinary families with simple stories," she said. From Ireland, "Faithless", a darkly humorous tale of fatherhood distributed by Abacus Media Rights. "It performed 82% over self-average in key target demos on One channel", said Rossmanith. From Ukraine, "Those Who Stayed" has been traveling well, and the series has a lighter, more comedic take on the same event, the start of the invasion, and how families keep in touch with one another through technology, despite power cuts, explosions, and continue to display unbridled optimism throughout. The final example in this genre is a coming-of-age drama from BBC One, "Lost Boys & Fairies", distributed by All3Media. “The series promises to be a human drama exploring the universal themes of parents and children, but through the perspective of a same-sex male couple,” she explained.


In this category, Glance stood out "Mr Bates versus the Post Office", which really embodies that trend for locally grounded stories that have strongly resonated with the audience. Aired on ITV in January, the series is distributed by ITV Studios. "On top of being the best ITV1 launched since 2022, with a 93% general audience increase on the prime time slot, this series caused an unprecedented media response," Rossmanith said. The French series "Of Money and Blood" distributed by Studiocanal is another example of a rather dry-sounding scandal on the surface, but which has captivated audiences, "almost doubled its audience share across all three demos". The series was adapted from a non-fiction bestseller about a VAT fraud on carbon quotas. "Canal Plus claimed that the series had accumulated 25 million views on its MyCanal platform," she added. From Spain, Glance executive mentioned "La Ley del Mar" distributed by RTVE, the true story of the first European ship to rescue 51 sub-Saharan immigrants adrift in international waters. "This program is rooted in the current immigration debate in Spain, with a premiere which doubled La Ley del Mar's average market share in the Young Adults demo. The show stands as the best drama launch on the channel since March 2019," she said. From Brazil, Rossmanith mentioned "Godless John" distributed by Onza Distribution, which tells the story of two sisters and their experiences in the rural area where so-called John of God used to operate. The series is inspired by one of the most notorious cases of sexual abuse in modern Brazil. "This is also a rare example of a co-production with Brazil, as TVI Portugal commissioned it. The story has an international impact and resonance worldwide by addressing the scandals perpetrated within its cults, which have been the subject of numerous documentary series in recent months," she said.

Glance executive reminded that for decades, the industry has drawn on Western myths and culture for inspiration in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. "More recently, we have seen an interest in fantasy traditions from Japan, particularly the manga, and Korea," she indicated. The first program featured was "Ball Lightning" (iQIYI). The Chinese series follows the experiences of Chen, whose family was killed by ball lightning when he was a teenager. Another example stems from South Africa, "S'Phiwo", a fantasy drama series about two students who find themselves drawn into a campus murder mystery. "The series seems to really connect with the local audience through a mix of traditional themes and a mystery intrigue," said Rossmanith. From Saudi Arabia, she selected "Rise of the Witches", an ambitious project for Shaheen based on best-selling Saudi mythology books. Staying in the Middle East, Glance executives showed "The Malevolent Bride", a fantasy horror mixed which leads into Hasidic traditions. “This is the first co-production between A&E and Israeli studio Ananey Studios”, she said.


The trend for adapting movie franchises into TV series is in rise. "There are obvious benefits for this strategy, such as capitalizing on the brands and minimizing risks. Sources can vary, they can be award-winning films, a cult phenomenon, or an international blockbuster. They can also be drawn from local box office hits," explained Rossmanith. The first example is "All You Need is Crime", an Italian comedy-drama series based on a popular trilogy of films, released between 2019 and 2022. Heading back to Brazil, Glance showed an upcoming series adaptation of "City of God" distributed by WBD, which takes place two decades after the crime film, which was released initially in 2002, and revolves around events in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. Next, Glance executive featured an unusual Turkish example with "Like There Is No Tomorrow". "This is a miniseries and although it is a romance, it centres on a complex relationship between an actress and an experienced journalist after they meet for an interview, taking place in a single location through a single night," she described. "The series is the latest addition to Inter Medya's expanded miniseries lineup under the New Generation Turkish Series brand," she added. The executive concluded her exposition with "Paris Has Fallen" from Studiocanal. "It is the upcoming series based on a franchise which has formed three movies to date, 'Olympus Has Fallen', 'London Has Fallen' and 'Angel Has Fallen'. Now, they have brought in a combined $522 million at the box office, a standout result for an independent film franchise," she said.