In yet another type of cross-border series – this one a sitcom – Family Guy and Will & Grace exec producer Gary Janetti’s Vicious premiered for buyers at Mip-TV last night. The six-part comedy stars veteran British thesps Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi in quite a departure from the likes of X-Men and Shakespeare. The pair plays a constantly bickering, but ultimately loving couple who’ve lived together in a small London flat for nearly 50 years. Their young upstairs neighbor is played by Misfits‘ Iwan Rheon and their best friend by Frances de la Tour of the Harry Potter films. Shine Group’s Brown Eyed Boy produced the show in association with Kudos Film and TV and Nickelby Inc. for the UK’s ITV. In keeping with current hit UK sitcoms like Mrs. Brown’s Boys, it’s shot in front of a live studio audience. There’s no U.S. outlet yet, but a deal was just concluded with Australia’s Seven Network. In a big push, Brown Eyed Boy’s Gary Reich, who’s co-producing with Janetti, says ITV will start trailering the series in British moviehouses and in video ads in the London Underground before the primetime debut later this year.
Dolphin Digital Media has closed TV deals on Anthony Zuiker’s digital series Cybergeddon with ZDF Enterprises and Venevision International. Online thriller Cybergeddon was launched on Yahoo in September last year in 25 different countries and 10 different languages. ZDF Enterprises will now take it to TV in Europe, and parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Venevision will handle Latin America. Astral Media’s French language specialty channel, Ztélé and Bell Media’s English language specialty channel Space in Canada also both acquired the series. Zuiker was given the 2013 Pioneer Prize at the International Digital Emmy Awards earlier this week in recognition of Cybergeddon.
Continuing to demonstrate the power of local formats, Keshet International’s new family game show Sure Or Insure has been licensed to Nordisk Film TV for Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The studio game show gives one contestant $1M to answer ten trivia questions correctly without any lifelines, relying only on how well his family knows him to bail him out. Keshet is expanding its factual footprint, along with being the folks behind the original versions of Homeland, NBC’s upcoming pilot M.I.C.E. and CBS pilot Mother’s Day.
Latin America was consistently cited as a strong market for international sellers throughout this Mip. Zodiak Brasil, the Brazilian production and sales arm of Zodiak Media, has set recommissions of two of its local entertainment formats. Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão ordered a sixth season of singing-competition format Sing If You Can. After premiering in January 2012, new seasons of the show have aired back-to-back. Also, TV Record ordered a third season of hidden camera format Deal With It.