Sony Pictures Television has closed a clutch of offshore sales on its new time-travel drama Timeless including to the UK’s Channel 4, which will air it on E4. Timeless debuted on NBC earlier this month with 11.1M viewers, ranking as the top series premiere of the week. Created by Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan and the producers of The Blacklist, Timeless follows a group of unlikely heroes trying to thwart a dark conspiracy that’s a threat to all of humanity as they chase a mysterious group of criminals through time and encounter some of the most seminal moments in history. Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic, Sakina Jaffrey, Paterson Joseph, Susanna Thompson, and Claudia Doumit star. Timeless has also been picked up by OSN across the Middle East; Spain’s Moviestar; AXN in Portugal; Fox in Italy; AXN in Japan; Viacom 18’s Colors Infinity in India; and Sohu in China. SPT is shopping the series at Mipcom, alongside scripted titles including The Blacklist: Redemption, Notorious, Kevin Can Wait and The Halcyon.
As The Young Pope begins international rollout later this week, FremantleMedia International has closed a deal for the Paolo Sorrentino series with Japan’s Kadokawa Corporation. Kadokawa will take the drama to all platforms across Japan. Starring Jude Law as the first (fictional) American pope, the series is a joint production of Sky, HBO and Canal Plus. All 10 episodes are directed by Sorrentino who scripted in collaboration with Tony Grisoni, Umberto Contarello and Stefano Rulli. The Young Pope is produced by Wildside, in which Fremantle has a majority stake, and co-produced by France’s Haut et Court TV. The first two episodes received a hearty welcome when they debuted at the Venice Film Festival in early September.
Separately, Fremantle has secured its first global commission, from Germany’s RTL, for improvised scripted format, Suspects. The procedural, created by Paul Marquess of FremantleMedia UK’s Newman Street, will be produced by UFA Serial Drama. A fly-on-the-wall style crime series, it sees the cast improvise their own dialogue based on a detailed plot description. The drama focuses on a team of determined detectives — each with their own distinctive approach to the job of policing. Suspects first launched in the UK on Channel 5 in February 2014 and fast became the channel’s highest-rated British drama of the past five years.
French producer Sydney Gallonde is launching indie production company Make it Happen Studio here at Mipcom. Backed by Alliance Entreprendre, a private equity subsidiary of France’s Natixis Group, Make it Happen is looking to work with global partners and talent on premium drama for the French and international markets. Gallonde’s credits include the 2014 adaptation of Harlen Coben’s No Second Chance for TF1. The series was a ratings winner for the French network and has sold to more than 64 countries along with Netflix in a worldwide deal. Gallonde is currently producing Coben’s Just One Look, also for TF1, and starring Virginie Ledoyen.
Content Media Corp has signed a major distribution partnership with Cardinal Releasing adding the latter’s Emperor Media titles produced and directed by Jon Brewer to its slate. Brewer is a documentary director and producer who started out as a manager of rock artists. Among the new productions Content will handle are 90’ special Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story. Narrated by the late Bowie, the film is a celebration of the life and works of guitar virtuoso Ronson. Also being sold at Mipcom is three-part series Monochrome: Black, White & Blue, about the origins and evolution of the blues; feature documentary B.B. King: On The Road, a sequel to B.B. King: The Life Of Riley; Steve McQueen: Desert Racer about the star’s hidden talent for dirt-bike racing; and Bad Company, a look inside the classic rock band.