In preparation for MIPCOM, we’re running a series of brief interviews with leading executives. We chatted with eOne Television International’s president, Stuart Baxter, about the Toronto-based company’s plans for the upcoming market.
VideoAge: Do you expect this MIPCOM to be different from last year’s in terms of a) results, b) number of buyers you’ll meet with and c) activities around the market (parties/events/etc)?
Stuart Baxter: We’ve been increasing our investment in television as well as the quality of shows that we are producing and distributing – so we’re anticipating this to be our biggest MIPCOM yet. This year will be different for us as we’re heading to the market with an unprecedented number of new shows that we’re launching along with acclaimed talent that we will be bringing.
VA: If you had a chance to see the conference program, which one would you attend?
SB: A definite must-attend session would have to be Kiefer Sutherland’s special keynote, which is taking place on Monday, October 17 in the Grand Auditorium.
VA: Are you bringing new shows? What are they?
SB: We have a diverse, robust slate featuring five high-profile, top quality shows that we’re launching. These include: Conviction tells the story of Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell), the brilliant but rebellious daughter of a former President, who is blackmailed into taking a job as the head of New York’s newly created Conviction Integrity Unit. Cardinal is adapted from the award-winning novel Forty Words for Sorrow, the first of the John Cardinal Mysteries series, a series of six bestselling crime novels written by award-winning author Giles Blunt. Ransom follows crisis and hostage negotiator Eric Beaumont (Luke Roberts) and his team Maxine Carlson (Sarah Greene), a young newcomer eager to prove herself, Oliver Yates (Brandon Jay MacLaren), a psychological profiler; and ex-cop Zara Hallam (Nazneen Contractor) who are brought in to save lives when no one else can. Foreign Bodies is the story of a motley gang of travelers embarking on a three-month trip around Asia. Designated Survivor is a conspiracy thriller and family drama about an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation.
VA: Which window is increasing in sales? (FTA, SVOD, etc)
SB: Pay-TV and SVOD windows have a greater appetite for edgier, more serialized dramas, which are in vogue today. There are also a lot more new players in this space helping grow the market. However both premium and basic cable markets continue to expand and provide more opportunities for us.