Having found success with titles like Spain’s Hierro or Portuguese drama Vidago Palace, Banijay Rights is on the lookout for more non-English language titles to add to complement its already vast catalog of new series and formats, which will be presented at Natpe Miami.
Banijay Rights is leaving behind a 2019 of sustained growth in terms of distribution and revenue, especially in the Latin American and US Hispanic regions, which continue to be of “great importance” for the company.
“We have seen our revenues grow across the region in 2019 and look forward to growing our business further in 2020”, said Elliott Chalkley, VP of Sales at Banijay Rights.
Formats in Demand
“We have noticed a trend across the region for adventure reality survival style programming”, he explained, highlighting the success of formats such as SAS: Who Dares Wins or Survivor in 2019, as well as a recently-closed deal for the dating format, Ten Things I Like About You, in Mexico.
“In addition, we are delighted that Wife Swap was such a hit in Brazil in 2019 on TV Record. It was the first time the format had been produced in the region so it’s fantastic to see audiences embracing this much loved format that has travelled the length and width of the globe,” he said.
“The format is currently enjoying a renaissance with new versions in the US, Australia, Portugal, Spain and Italy anticipated this year. We anticipate a second series will air in Brazil very soon”, he added.
To continue capitalizing on this demand for entertainment formats in Latin America, Banijay Rights is headed to Natpe Miami with its brand new format, Don’t, produced by Banijay Studios North America for ABC, where families can win money by following one simple rule: Don’t.
“Don’t is a cheeky, fun, physical game-show that will entertain the entire family. It will air on ABC in the US later this year. We are confident that this format will appeal across Latin America given its comedic tone and co-viewing appeal”, the executive anticipated.
A Request for Drama
And while entertainment formats are a hit in Latin America, Banijay has also found great success with the distribution of drama series in 2019, adding new territories to its distribution map.
“Our scripted catalogue continues to flourish. 2019 has seen us announce many key deals on the scripted side. Drama series such as Wisting (a Norwegian crime series starring Carrie Anne Moss and Sven Nordin) and The Restaurant have traveled extremely well internationally including to the US and across Europe.
And when it comes to drama, the distributor also bet on non-English language series last year with Spanish production, Hierro, a bet that paid off.
“We are delighted to represent Hierro, a beautifully crafted series that has viewers hooked from start to finish. The cast, setting and storyline are nothing short of phenomenal and the series was a stand out hit in its home territory, Spain, winning many awards. It’s no surprise therefore that international buyers have also been drawn to the series”, he said.
“We have already closed deals for the series across Eastern and Western Europe, as well as Australia. With season two already in development, we are anticipating even more interest in 2020”, he added.
The company already represents Hierro, in addition to Portuguese drama Vidago Palace, as well as numerous hit French and Scandinavian series; and is now looking for new additions. “Of course, we would love to add more titles from both Europe and Latin America to our catalogue”, the executive said.
“The key is finding engaging stories that will resonate, captivate and entertain on a universal level, whilst offering the viewer a tantalising glimpse of cultures and places different to their own,” he added.
“As for now, we look forward to presenting our 2020 drama slate to buyers at Natpe”, he said. In this sense, the company will be presenting the new geo-political thriller, Thin Ice. Produced by the critically acclaimed Yellowbird (The Millennium Trilogy, Wallander and Occupied), the series tackles the pressing issue of climate change.
Banijay will also be presenting Artist to Icon, a series that goes beyond the constraints of the velvet rope to reveal how the biggest names in entertainment reached the very top. An engrossing mix of biography, artistry, glitz and glamour combine, as it lifts the lid on the blood, sweat and tears that go into becoming a world famous icon.