The Wit’s Fresh TV sessions are the perfect way to catch up with the hottest new TV shows at the MIP markets. We’ve already reported on CEO Virginia Mouseler’s roundup of factual formats earlier in the week. Today, it was time for fiction to take its place in the sun.
“I will show you fresh fiction, but personally I’m not so fresh any more, so please be gentle!” she joked, on the third day of the conference, before outlining some trends.
Thrillers, TV franchises are the two most popular genres, accounting for 20% each of new scripted shows tracked by The Wit. Scripted formats account for 8%, as do books-to-TV programmes. Non-TV IPs – mainly movies – represent 4%, while dramas based on real events account for 6%.
On with the shows, though, with their distributors in brackets after the titles. On the menu: terrorism, dystopia, Belgian noir, recent-history period drama and more:
False Flag (Keshet Intl)
Terrorism and the Middle East: territory previously explored by several Keshet dramas. It tells the disappearance of the Iranian defence minister, with five ordinary people waking up one morning to find they are being accused of the kidnapping – and they don’t know anything about it (“or don’t seem to know anything about it” as Mouseler put it.
De Bunker (WBITVP)
In the same genre, this Belgian drama sees an investigation led by a special task force in Antwerp on a mission to protect the state from extreme right-wing threats, terrorism and industrial espionage.
Set in late 21st century France, this sees 80% of the population unemployed and parked outside the city walls, with those left behind terrified about losing their jobs. But when a group of “jobless” activists kidnap the minister of work, the government forces the “actives” to hire 10,000 of the jobless. Conflict ensues.
Norskov (DR Sales)
Danish drama where a detective comes back to his hometown 20 years after he left, to find a town plagued by drugs problems among young people. And his investigation becomes personal when he suspects his former fiancé’s son of being involved in a drug-trafficking network. Classic nordic noir.
A Swedish drama based on novels by Anne Holt, this sees a psychologist and ex-FBI profiler investigating a series of brutal deaths, until one day her autistic daughter witnesses one of the murders, at which point the threat shifts directly to her family.
Coppers (Attraction Dist.)
Another drama from Belgium, this sees a no-nonsense female lead in charge of the homicide division of the Antwerp police department, based on the books by Toni Coppers. She doesn’t always play by the rules.
Ängelby (ITV SGE)
A Swedish drama with another female lead – ” a typical new nordic noir” that mixes crime investigation with the supernatural. Vera moves from a big city to a small town, but when her car hits the dead body of a younger man on the road, all kinds of mysteries are sparked.
A British take on the noir genre but with a Swedish actor, due to air on the BBC. John River is a “brilliant police officer who is psychologically borderline… haunted by the murder victims. But he is a genius”. And by haunted, we mean actual ghosts. Who, naturally, may be of some help in his investigations…
The Valley (Beta Film)
More psychological thrills in this German drama, as a man wakes up in the middle of a vineyard with no idea how he got there. Or, indeed, how the dead body of a young woman next to him got there. And when he goes to a nearby village to get help, the body disappears.
I Know Who You Are (Mediaset Espana)
Spanish noir! And more amnesia: a criminal lawyer has a car accident and remembers nothing when he wakes up – including the fact that he was with his niece, who disappeared. Did he kill her or not?
Signos (Artear / TBSI)
A serial killer story from Argentina, this sees a brilliant doctor decide to kill 12 people to take revenge for a childhood trauma that has marked his life. He kills each of them according to the characteristics of their zodiac signs.
Inside (La Isla Producciones)
From Spain, this sees a famous journalist starting therapy with a psychologist, seeking help because he feels the need to kill the women he loves. Except the psychologist’s husband is currently investigating a spree of serial killings of women…
Plastic Sea (Atresmedia Intl Sales / Boomerang TV Intl)
The dead body of a young woman is found in a huge property covered in vegetable and fruit greenhouses, with migrant seasonal workers employed there. And in the background, there is a romance between a highly-prejudiced young man and a young migrant worker.
Heart of Gold (SP Televisao / SIC)
Hailing from Portugal, this is a thriller telenovela with a crime at its heart: an old man decides to give all his money to his maid and her daughter, but the daughter kills him to get the money quicker – without realising that he’s actually her grandfather.
Story of a Clan (Telefe International)
Tells the story of a family between the end of military dictatorship and the start of democracy in Argentina, who make a plan to kidnap someone. Do things go smoothly for them? You can probably guess the answer. Based on a true story.
The Five (Studio Canal)
Written by author Harlan Coben directly for TV, and sees the story of a boy who disappeared 20 years ago in mysterious circumstances when playing in a park with four friends. Now one of those friends is a detective investigating the disappearance: was he murdered or is he still alive?
Professor T (Beta Film)
An eccentric but genial criminology psychologist acts as a police consultant: “He’s a cross between Monk and Dr House” said Mouseler, suggesting that this is a recipe for a character who could travel to many other countries in the future.