By Leah Hochbaum Rosner
As MIPCOM approaches, TV executives the world over are readying themselves for at least four days of meetings, cocktail parties, panel discussions, deal-making, and of course, trying to find the next big thing in television.
Some participants believe the newest trend in sports television is mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting. In that spirit, Alfred Haber Distribution, Inc. (AHDI) is coming to MIPCOM with International Fight League’s IFL Fight Night and IFL Battleground, both of which showcase MMA at its best. In addition, the company will showcase Tinseltown talker Hollywood Uncensored, as well as Most Shocking, a caught-on-camera reality series that follows law enforcement and gathers action-packed crime footage, and the all-new Most Daring, which captures dramatic rescue attempts on tape.
“We continue to present the most compelling catalogue of programming available,” said Alfred Haber, founder of AHDI. “It is indeed a global market and it is our goal to satisfy the entertainment needs of that global audience. I am confident that these titles do just that.”
The U.K.’s FremantleMedia Enterprises will also be bringing something new and exciting to the Palais. Produced by Bunim-Murray Productions for Spike TV, entertainment format Murder will give viewers the chance to help solve real homicides pulled directly from police case files.
“Every now and than a show comes along which pushes the boundaries of current formats and offers viewers something really different and individual,” said FremantleMedia CEO David Ellender. “Murder is one of these shows and we are delighted to offer such an innovative series at MIPCOM.”
In addition to solving murders, viewers will also be asked to help solve cases of fraud with Fraud Squad TV, a new series from Canada’s QC Entertainment that follows fraud victims from the moment they realize they were bilked to the moment they catch the criminal.
“This is bigger than just a TV show,” said Daniel D’or, the show’s creator, who conjured up the series after hearing the heartbreaking tale of an elderly woman who lost her life savings to a con artist.
Miami’s Televisa Estudios brings more of what it does best — telenovelas. The company’s line-up includes Love Without Makeup (Amor sin Maquillaje), a love story about three women of different generations working as makeup artists at a telenovela production company, and Down With the Beautiful (Al Diablo con los Guapos), about a soccer-mad tomboy whose life changes when she meets handsome Alejandro.
Regardless of what the next big thing might be, the execs at DECODE Entertainment, a Canada-based firm that specializes in kids and family entertainment, believe that educational series will always find their way onto TV schedules, so they’re coming to Cannes with groundbreaking animated preschool series, Super Why. The literacy-focused show, a co-venture between Blue’s Clues producer Out of the Blue Enterprises, and DECODE, is already airing on PBS in the U.S. and has been picked up by Canada’s CBC.
“This is a major deal for us,” said Neil Court, president of DECODE Enterprises. “Super Why promises to be a great success in the worldwide preschool market as already demonstrated by the commitments from PBS and the CBC.”
But whatever shows are on offer, some people still come to MIPCOM year after year to simply introduce themselves. “There’s nothing like meeting somebody in person,” said Sandra Carter of New York-based Sandra Carter Global which is coming to the market with a number of shows, including Red Carpet Reporter and the successful Shop the World series. “E-mailing and faxing just cannot compare to shaking someone’s hand.”