By Leah Hochbaum Rosner
This will technically be the very first MIPCOM for ITV Global Entertainment, Ltd. following the firm’s recent renaming of Granada International and Granada Ventures (which until recently were referred to as ITV Worldwide) to its new ITV Global moniker, and Tobias de Graaff, svp, Sales, Europe, at the U.K.-based firm, is positive that the change of name will only help the company do bigger business in Cannes. The TV executive spoke to VideoAge about ITV Global’s new slate of TV movies, its new booth in the Palais, and why the WGA writers’ strike in the U.S. — which paralyzed so many in the industry — is continuing to have a surprisingly positive effect on his company.
VideoAge International: What’s new and exciting about MIPCOM this year?
Tobias de Graaff: This will be the first market we’re attending as a fully merged venture. We’ll have a new stand [R38.01] and everything. Expect prettiness.
VAI: What new product will you be bringing to the Palais?
TDG: We have a mix of TV movies — some are female skewing and others are disaster flicks. We have Scorched, a futuristic disaster movie about the effects of global warming. We also have a new adaptation of Wuthering Heights, as well as Britannia High, a new musical drama series starring six young performers. Additionally, we’ll offer Hell’s Kitchen U.S. with Chef Gordon Ramsay, as well as format Come Dine With Me, which has rolled out successfully in so many countries.
VAI: Do you ever have any time to attend any of the sessions or panels at MIPCOM, or are you essentially chained to your booth?
TDG: MIPCOM is always a very busy market. For me personally, it’s very tight. I’m booked up with salespeople from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. most days. But we try to always send someone to the panels to make sure we know everything by the end of the market.
VAI: Though the WGA writers’ strike has been over for a few months now, will it still affect MIPCOM? And more importantly, will it affect ITV?
TDG: Our company is a producer of Hollywood dramas, so we’ve definitely felt a positive result from the strike. Our buyers didn’t get the normal amount of scripted shows that they usually get. Because of that shortfall, they’re looking for our stuff.
VAI: So the strike ended up being relatively positive for you. How about the falling dollar?
TDG: It’s had more of an effect on U.S. companies than U.K. because we trade in pounds. But generally I haven’t found that the TV industry has had any downturn yet.