Fall is upon us: And with the changing leaves comes the changing U.S. TV schedule. As usual, international TV executives will closely monitor the new series just ahead of MIPCOM in Cannes, where licensing rights for these new series are finalized.
VideoAge expects several big hits this season – as the new series roll out this week and next– and we checked in with various TV executives to get their thoughts on some of the most anticipated series:
Keith Le Goy, president, international distribution, at Sony Pictures Television (SPT), had this to say about the studio’s most buzzed-about dramas, airline-centric Pan Am, ’70s remake Charlie’s Angels and crime drama Unforgettable, about a hyperobservant woman who remembers everything:
“Interest in SPT’s drama slate is high with our new network titles Pan Am, Charlie’s Angels and Unforgettable having already been sold in numerous territories across the globe.
“Pan Am has captured the imagination of broadcasters with its lavish and exciting storylines of luxury air travel set against a backdrop of romance, shifting social values and international espionage.
“The action-packed adventure of Charlie’s Angels combined with a recognizable brand has been an appealing dynamic for broadcasters worldwide.
“And Unforgettable continues to push the envelope with its unique take on the classic crime procedural, the number one drama around the world.”
Marion Edwards, president, 20th Century Fox International Television, had this to say about New Girl (which, in a first-of-its-kind move, is available on iTunes before it premieres on Sept. 20), dinosaur epic Terra Nova and 1960s-era The Playboy Club:
“New Girl tested extremely well in the U.S. People love the Zooey Deschanel character — she’s quirky but sweet, naive but not stupid. For the people that have screened it, it’s been really popular. I think it’ll work very well in English- speaking markets. How it works in other countries is always the question. But it’s less driven by one-liners, and more about funny circumstances.
“I think Terra Nova is hands-down the most eagerly anticipated show. It was talked about at the last Upfronts, so people have been looking forward to it for a while.
“Most clients wanted to air it in early prime and have it as a family show. So we wanted to make sure we delivered on that. There are some scary parts, but it’s definitely a family show. Certainly there is jeopardy, but it’s not a relentless heart-pounding experience the way Jurassic Park was. It was designed to be an edgy family show. Right out of the gate, I think it’ll have an enormous response. As a client in Germany said, ‘Who doesn’t like dinosaurs?’
“With The Playboy Club, it’s impossible to ignore the Mad Men effect. Retro is extremely popular and buzzy, and here you have the iconic city of Chicago and the iconic Playboy brand. There’s a huge amount of goodwill toward that brand around the world. In a weird way, it’s kind of stayed retro, by not going too raunchy.
“It takes place during a time that guys are smoking cigarettes and drinking scotch, and women are trying to get themselves out of the kitchen. There’s a wish fulfillment level that the show works on.”
Rick Haskins, evp, Digital, New Technologies, Marketing & Brand Strategy, at the CW, had this to say about new series Ringer, which stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, and premieres tonight:
“When we announced Ringer this spring, the news spread online and across social media platforms in an instant. The return of Sarah Michelle Gellar to television, along with the moody, noir-esque feel of the show, really captured fans’ attention right away, and the buzz has only built as we get ready for the fall premiere.”