President, International Distribution, Sony Pictures Television
VideoAge International: At MIPCOM will you have a more definite picture of your output shown at the L.A. Screenings? Can you outline it?
Keith LeGoy: Yes we will. We’re possibly offering one of the strongest slates in recent years with our line-up of programming this year. This includes Mr. Sunshine, our half-hour comedy of 13 episodes for ABC, starring Matthew Perry and Allison Janney, and Franklin & Bash, our 10 episode, light-hearted drama for TNT. In addition, Plain Jane, a reality makeover/dating show for the CW is part of the line up . And we’ll also be talking to clients about our newest offering, Mad Love, for CBS as a mid-season show.
VAI: What will be your focus at this MIPCOM in terms of product?
KL: SPT’s focus is, as always, to offer broadcasters content that adds value to their schedules and ultimately helps build viewer numbers, subscribers and ad revenue. As well as our fantastic shows like Mr. Sunshine and Franklin & Bash, we’re also presenting excellent returning series including The Big C, Drop Dead Diva, Hawthorne, Community and Justified.
VAI: What will be your focus in terms of territories?
KL: While the big western European markets such as the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain feature strongly at MIPCOM, we’re very excited with ever-growing broadcast markets in Central and Eastern Europe and across Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.
VAI: In your view, is MIPCOM only important because of the sales prospects or does it have other value?
KL: SPT has a worldwide network of offices which allow us to be ever present with our clients. We sell content all year round and generating sales activity is a never-ending process in our business — MIPCOM is part of that process.
We see MIPCOM as a good opportunity to meet clients over the course of a few days outside the usual office environment. We use the market to open up useful dialogue about our latest content, discuss issues that our clients are facing and delve into the latest viewing trends and tastes.
VAI: Do you have any predictions big programming trends at MIPCOM?
KL: The main programming trend this year seems to be a demand all round for more light-hearted fare. Even drama is becoming lighter — viewers want the action and the credible characters but at the same time, they want it mixed in with some comic relief, ala Franklin & Bash, which is the classic tale of two guys out of their depth in a posh, conservative law firm — real drama but with lots of hilarious moments!
And we’re also seeing that viewers more than ever are looking for programmes with big stars. That’s one of the reasons why we’re so excited about shows like Mr. Sunshine with Matthew Perry and The Big C with Laura Linney, both globally recognizable stars.