Mistco Takes The Town Doctor and The Blackboard to LAS 2022

The distributor will spearhead its catalogue with a traditional Turkish drama like The Blackboard and the medical drama The Town Doctor, an adaptation of the successful South Korean title Dr. Romantic.

Local adaptations of international hit titles dominate the Turkish screen and Mistco brings to the market one of the most successful this season, The Town Doctor, an ARC Yapim production based on an original South Korean series.

In the case of The Town Doctor, it is a double bet of the state broadcaster TRT, not only because it is an adaptation, but also because of a genre -the medical drama- that is in high demand in Turkey:

“During recent years there is an increasing demand for medical dramas in Turkey,” says Aysegul Tuzun, CEO of Mistco. “TRT has made some very good adaptations of medical titles, and they have been very successful both locally and internationally.”

The local and international success of these Turkish versions, which Tuzun considers to be proof of the great work of local producers, makes these contents some of the most attractive on the market.

Another fresh title in Mistco’s catalog is The Blackboard, a more traditional Turkish drama, produced by US Yapim for TRT, where a love triangle leads the narrative.

How has the return to face-to-face events been, as was the case with the recent Miptv and now LA Screenings? We ran our business during the pandemic via online meeting and nothing is quite the same as meeting face to face. Miptv 2022 was a small market, with only one floor open for the exhibits, but it was a productive. Even if it was small, it is good to come together in certain dates. We are bringing two new dramas this Spring season into the market so we like the chance to present our new titles to our selected clients face to face.

Going over those new titles, one of them is ‘The Town Doctor’. What are the main features of this title? During recent years there has been an increasing demand for medical dramas in Turkey. TRT has made some very good adaptations of medical titles, and they have been very successful both locally and internationally. Because of this interest, TRT is now producing a new medical drama called The Town Doctor. This series is an adaptation from a Korean series called Dr. Romantic.

How has the series fared in its first few weeks on TRT? As I mentioned, there is an increasing demand for medical dramas and The Town Doctor had a very strong opening in Turkey. The series is the most-watched TV series in its Friday slot. It was number one with its first and second episodes in some major groups. Basically the series is about three idealistic doctors that work on the same hospital in a small town, but also have some connection from the past.

The series has also been a hit on social media. How valuable is this for the work of the distributor? We have two different measurements to see the success of the series: official ratings for linear TV channels and social media numbers. The series is the most-watched in some categories on Friday evenings. Social media boost is important because it means people connect with the series; if you allocate time to make comments about a title in social media means you really connected with it. It really helps, not only social media post, but also YouTube views for the episode. Even so, the most important one for our clients still is the official ratings. The series is already very successful in both and I believe it will keep its momentum.

Turkish adaptations of international original content seem to have been observed. To what do you attribute this? At the moment adaptations are dominating our market. Not only from Korean series, but also from British titles, BBC titles. All are successful. Its not surprising they are successful in Turkey, but I think is surprising that they are also successful internationally as well, because we are offering the same story, but with a Turkish touch. It’s a success story for Turkish producers, because their “touch” is producing and creating something special for international audiences.

What can you tell us about the other novelty in your catalogue, The Blackboard? We are seeing more adaptations, but The Blackboard is a love story between Atlas and Irmak, perfect for customers who are looking for traditional Turkish drama. Atlas, who was a victim of “bullying” during his childhood and had a very bad relationship with his father, left his town, only to return years later when he is selected as a teacher in a local school. Atlas has many reasons to return, including his love for Irmak, whom he finds in a relationship with another man. The series has a traditional love affair.

How have the last few months been for one of TRT’s strongest genres, historical dramas? When we talk about historical dramas, TRT is number one in Turkey; no other local broadcaster invests more in this genre. We launched two new historical dramas this season, Barbarossa and The Great Seljuks: Alparslan. For this type of series, the Middle East and North America are our main targets and we are very happy that both titles have managed to reach good agreements in those regions. We also have other agreements that we will announce soon.

What do you expect from Latin America as an important region for your business after this pandemic? Latin America is still looking for traditional Turkish dramas and we have a great advantage as a distributor since during the pandemic we made our titles available dubbed in Spanish. We are very active in the region, and we were during the pandemic, not only with new titles but also with our content library, with dramas like Hold My Hand or Melek: A Mother’s Struggle. We are now closing agreements with most of the broadcasters in Latin America. There is a demand for traditional Turkish dramas and we are happy with our penetration in the region.