‘Bargain’, ‘The Continental’ & ‘Until I Kill You’ — The Hot Ones – Deadline | #daitngscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | | #dating

Welcome to Deadline’s The Hot Ones, our guide to some of the best television being sold at Mipcom next week. Our editorial team has done extensive research in the run-up to the 2023 market and handpicked what we think are sure to be the shows that will be big talking points at this year’s event in Cannes. In between meetings and cocktail parties, you’re sure to hear whispers about the next potential global hit and The Hot Ones is here to guide you. Here’s our pick of top scripted titles headed for the Croisette.


From left: Jeon Jong-Seo and Jin Sun-kyu in Bargain.

TVING Co/Paramount+/Hyong-soo

Distributor: Paramount Global Content Distribution
Length: 6×35 minutes
Producers: SLL, Climax Studio

Bargain’s star has been ascending all year, following the Korean drama’s Best Screenplay win at Canneseries in April and the Critics’ Choice gong at Germany’s Seriencamp in Cologne a few months later. “This show is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time,” says Dan Cohen, Chief Content Licensing Officer at Paramount Global Content Distribution. “For my team, it’s really exciting given the popularity of Korean content.”

The series was born out of a wide-ranging strategic deal Paramount struck with South Korean powerhouse CJ ENM for film and television, one element of which would see Paramount co-finance and licence CJ shows for its global steaming service Paramount+.

“Part of the appeal for us on Bargain and the CJ deal was because we really feel Korean content has cut through,” says Cohen. “We’ve not done other deals like this.”

As such, Bargain launches on Paramount+ services in numerous territories, including the U.S., UK and Germany. Cohen says the reason for showcasing the series at Mipcom now is because there are “plenty of markets that are unspoken for.” He adds that his team will be entertaining second window enquiries in the Paramount+ territories.

Based on a 2015 short film, Bargain has an extreme premise. Noh Hyung Soo (Jin Seon-kyu) pays Park Joo Young (Jeon Jong-seo) for a sexual service, only to find she’s in cahoots with an illegal human organ trafficking auction house and he has been tricked. As people fight over the price of his body parts, an earthquake hits and collapses the building. Hyung Soo and a group of survivors have to make their way through a never-ending road to safety.

Cohen points to director and co-creator Woo Sung-jeon’s stunning long takes, often running for more than 10 minutes. “It is wild to watch as the camera just moves with the action,” he says. “It almost feels like you’re watching in real time.”

Cohen notes that while the drama is eye-catching, the award-winning script should not be overlooked. “The plot twists will make you think, ‘What am I watching?’ but in a really cool way. This just works.”

While Korean content has been booming, it can still be a gamble for a U.S. studio. Cohen says his “biggest concern” when striking the CJ deal was whether audiences would actually locate it. “I’m 100% certain if people can find it they will watch it,” he says.

When Paramount+ execs showcased the first show from the pact, sci-fi drama Yonder, on the streamer’s homepage, it performed strongly for the platform, something Cohen hopes will be the same for Bargain. —Jesse Whittock


Beta Film

Distributor: Beta Film
Length: 8×60’
Producers: Fisher King, Panache Productions & La Compagnie Cinematographique Amrion Production and Kärnlm AB

The sinking of the MS Estonia is considered one of the greatest maritime accidents of all time, and so forging a limited series out of a tragedy that killed 850 people was bound to be a challenge.

Estonia is an eight-part series created for a number of Scandinavian and German networks that looks set to dominate scripted sales chatter at Mipcom this year, following the success of Beta-distributed series The Swarm in 2022.

Director Mans Månsson, whose credits include Chernobyl and Snabba Cash, describes the ship’s sinking in 1994 as “a total national trauma” that needed to be approached with the utmost sensibility, given that authorities are still investigating the case 30 years on. 

“We Scandinavians tend not to be involved with wars so rarely have loss of life on this scale,” says Månsson.  

With a budget estimated at around €15 million ($16.4 million), Estonia charts what happened after midnight on September 28, 1994, when a catastrophic storm off the coast of Finland caused the sinking of the enormous ship—one of the worst tragedies to befall such a vessel since the Titanic.

As the tragedy unfolds, pressing questions surface: How could this happen? Was it human or technical failure? And who can be held accountable? The investigation committee, including acclaimed marine engineer, yet novice inquirer, Henri Peltonen, is subsequently determined to unveil the cause of the disaster.

“I remember hearing of the accident when visiting my family,” says showrunner Miikko Oikkonen. “We heard the ferry had sunk and my father’s response was ‘No way, this is not possible.’ Those words have burned in my mind.” 

In a similar vein to Chernobyl, the team took a highly ethical approach to the series, avoiding pitfalls that have beset previous shows about disasters by ignoring the mountain of conspiracy theories that exist about the tragedy.

They instead focused on precincts such as the police and investigating committee, while also embracing collaboration and tackling the story with multiple producers and networks, which helped ease the burden on one specific territory while also boosting the budget.

Beta will now be pitching to a multitude of territories and is hopeful a U.S. buyer will swoop. “The shipwreck is almost an eternal genre, so I think we have a lot to say for every kind of audience,” adds Månsson.

And while acknowledging that the dual writer/actor strikes are an “important issue and we are not trying to compete with the U.S.,” Oikonnen hopes that the upside of this means there could be “some room for European shows in the U.S. or other English-speaking markets.” —Max Goldbart


Distributor: Eccho Rights
Length: 8×60’
Producers: Silver Reel, Night Train Media, Globoplay (Co-producer)

New crime drama Fallen is targeting what distributor Eccho Rights calls the “new adult” market — slightly older than young adults but broadly still in their 20s and 30s. The show has pedigree too with co-showrunner Matt Hastings, who has worked on projects such as The Originals and The Vampire Diaries for The CW, aboard the project.

“After the U.S. network pivoted to unscripted, indies pounced on the opportunity to make headway in the genre,”  says Adam Barth,” Eccho’s Director of Co-Productions, Acquisitions and Development.

The show, which is based on Lauren Kate’s YA popular book series, follows play 20-year-old Luce, a girl who is sent to a cult-like reform facility called Sword & Cross for a horrific crime she can’t remember committing. Armed officers guard the building and nobody inside has any recollection of who they are. She soon develops a connection with enigmatic inmate Daniel (Gijs Blom), as Siddig, who looks on as the sinister chief doctor. “From the first minute in the facility, it’s clear there’s something off,” says Barth, who recently took on a new role at Eccho’s parent, Night Train Media.

It soon emerges Luce has strange powers and she realizes that she is a key protagonist in a supernatural conflict that begins to intrude on the human world. Siddig, Sarah Niles, Jessica Alexander, Blom and Timothy Innes star, with Rachel Paterson and Roland Moore writing and co-exec producing alongside exec producers Claudia Bluemhuber and Hastings, who is also director.

Fallen was made using an indie financing model more akin to the film industry. Shooting took place on location in Hungary, meaning the production could access the country’s generous 30% tax rebate.

“As we get Season one lined up, we are trying to bring together partners in a way that gives everyone a piece of the IP,” Barth says.

Bluemhuber of Swiss TV financier and producer Silver Reel struck a deal to make a series based on the novels, which have sold more than 10 million copies to date, before bringing in Night Train Media for development. The characters have been aged up and Eccho, which was sold to Night Train in 2022, is heading to Mipcom to do deals for season 1 and find “one or two key partners who can help us get season two up and running.”

Despite the supernatural elements, Barth says Fallen is “a love story at its core, and though there is fantasy, it is incredibly grounded.”

He adds: “It’s for buyers who want something a little different, fresh and exciting—the type of thing a studio would make internally and premiere on their service and nobody would ever get a chance to buy it.” —JW


White Lion Films

Distributor: Mediawan Rights
Length: 6×52’
Producer: White Lion Films

International interest in French drama has been steadily picking up thanks to shows such as Call My Agent!Haven of Grace and HIP and Mediawan Rights is hoping that its upcoming six-part limited series Machine will be following their lead.

The upcoming series, which is from Mediawan-owned White Lion Films and for Arte France, follows Margot Bancilhon as a former French special ops soldier hiding in a small town to avoid her former military intelligence unit colleagues, who wrongly blame her for a disastrous overseas mission failure. She takes a menial job at a Korean-owned factory but soon finds herself caught up in a dispute between the workers and their paymasters, despite her lack of interest and desire to keep a low profile. Pursued by her ex-colleagues, she is drawn into conflict on two fronts.

The project is created by Fred Grivois and Thomas Bidegain and is a heady mix of genres, which should stand out as an unusual but attention-grabbing Mipcom title.

“We love straightforward crime shows and thrillers that are easy to pitch but every once in a while, broadcasters and streamers need something outside of the box and Machine has all of those elements,” says Randal Broman, Head of International Sales, scripted at Mediawan. “It’s not a comedy but there are light moments—that’s what you get mixing unions and kung-fu. It’s in some ways a light thriller.”

The show’s title is even a French play on words as France’s John and Jane Does are often called Machine, which doubles as the show’s description for Bancilhon’s special forces-trained lead character. “She’s not your ordinary woman,” says Broman.

Bancilhon herself is a draw, having won the Best Actress award at Series Mania earlier this year for her turn in family crime drama Haven of Grace, which is also an Arte drama that Mediawan Rights sells internationally. “She is so good in both shows,” Broman says.

He describes the action scenes as closer to “real fights” than “Jackie Chan-style action,” and adds another notable point is there is no central romance, “which is key to the story.”

Paris-based Mediawan will be heading to Cannes with two almost finished episodes. Filming has completed so buyers will effectively be looking at a straight tape deal and it’s unlikely to launch before Series Mania 2024, which only features shows that haven’t been broadcasted.

“The French have come a long way in terms of writing and producing shows,” says Broman. “There are more shows that are exportable and less Franco-French. If it has international flavor, you can export it and potentially get more money for production.” —JW

Memento Mori

Zebra Producciones

Distributor: Newen Connect
Length: 6×45’
Producer: Zebra Producciones

Upcoming high-concept crime thriller Memento Mori has been in the works for a while and now, nearly eight years since Spanish production outfit iZen optioned the bestseller by leading Spanish crime writer César Pérez Gellida, it has finally come to fruition.

The series, which is produced by iZen’s Zebra Producciones, was first optioned in 2015 and after a number of financing models didn’t lift off, iZen, which recently sold a majority stake of its business to TF1 subsidiary Newen, saw its new partner step in. Newen licenced the project to Prime Video in Spain and Newen Connect boarded as the project’s international distributor. 

“I think the timing was just perfect, says iZen’s Sara Fernández of the project finally coming together.

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Pérez Gellida, the thriller follows detective inspector Ramiro Sancho, who one Sunday morning is called to a murder scene. His worst nightmare has just begun. The victim, a young Ecuadorian woman whose eyelids had been mutilated, has been found next to threatening verses. But she is only the first. As the murders mount up, Sancho involves Armand Lopategui, an expert on serial killer behaviour. These two men form a complex emotional triangle with the killer, Augusto, a narcissistic sociopath.

It stars Yon González (Beguinas, Gran Hotel), Francisco Ortiz (Garcia!), Juan Echanove (Desaparecidos), Olivia Baglivi (Dancing on Glass) and Manuela Vellés (Cites) and is directed by Marco A. Castillo (The Legend of El Cid).

Newen is confident the series has all the ingredients to work internationally as it’s based on a novel that many are familiar with, so that IP is a big draw. “We generally love a high concept crime thriller,” says Newen Connect’s Leona Connell. “So, when the opportunity came for us to work on this, we jumped at it.”

She adds, “It follows this cat and mouse game between the sociopath/psychopath and the obsessive policeman and that’s always fun to watch and means that you have a certain pace attached to it. And it’s character driven.”

Fernández notes that the location is one of the things “that makes this story very special.” It was shot in the city of Valladolid, where Pérez Gellida is from. “Because Valladolid is a mid-sized city in Spain, this is the kind of story you would never expect to happen in this place.”

She adds that music will be a big draw to people: “There’s a lot of contemporary music and international songs that people will recognize.”

Newen is showing a promo to buyers in Mipcom this year and Connell says that she’s sure buyers will find it “quite cinematic.”

“We feel very optimistic that we’ve got something very exciting on our hands and we feel it should appeal to not only platforms and pay-TV channels internationally but also sub-linear broadcasters who will look at these kind of high-concept, intense thrillers.” —Diana Lodderhose

Of Money And Blood


Distributor: Studiocanal
Length: 12×52’
Producer: Curiosa Films

International financial crime thriller Of Money and Blood arrives at Mipcom after a glitzy red-carpet launch at the Venice Film Festival. The French-language 12-parter marks the first series for cinema writer-director Xavier Giannoli. It’s produced by Giannoli’s long-time producer Olivier Delbosc at Paris-production company Curiosa Films and stars Cannes Best Actor-winning star Vincent Lindon.

Giannoli’s previous credits include period adaptation Lost Illusions and contemporary miracle mystery The Apparition, while Delbosc’s plus-100 productions span early François Ozon films 8 Women and Swimming Pool, and recent titles such as Making Of and The Taste of Things.

Of Money and Blood is liberally adapted from investigative journalist Fabrice Arfi’s 2018 book about a real-life carbon tax scam that robbed the French treasury of billions of euros in 2009 and was later dubbed the “fraud of the century.”

Lindon, who previously starred in Giannoli’s The Apparition, plays Simon Weynachter, a magistrate with an obsessional streak who sets up an off-the-grid unit to investigate the fraud. Popular French actor Ramzy Bedia plays a small-time crook who joins forces with a high-finance trader, played by Niels Schneider (recently seen in Woody Allen’s Coup de Chance), to set up the fraud across multiple countries and banking systems. Weynachter and his agents follow an international paper trail, taking them to Asia, the U.S., the Middle East and back to Europe. 

Delbosc partnered with French pay-TV giant Canal+ on the production, working closely with the Canal+ Création Originale team. While the team has produced a number of French dramas involving directors better known for cinema—such as Zaid Doueiri’s Baron Noir, Rebecca Zlotowski’s Savages and Thomas Liltl’s Hippocrate—Delbosc suggests that Of Money and Blood breaks fresh ground in terms of international scope and ambition.

“We wanted to appeal to the whole world, both in the spectacular way its shot and in terms of the countries that we visit,” he says. “The financial scam involves several countries and governments. In the history of French series, I don’t think there are others that have done what we’ve done.”

Canal+ financed 50% of the development costs, bringing in writer Jean-Baptiste Delafon (Baron NoirPromises) to co-write alongside Giannoli, and buying the rights to Arfi’s book. Development was under the watch of former Canal+ Head of Fiction Fabrice de la Patellière, with production overseen by his successor Olivier Bibas, who arrived in January 2022. Budgeted at €30 million ($28 million), the show shot on and off over the course of a year. 

Of Money and Blood launches first in France this October on Canal+, which is also distributing in Poland, Africa and the Asian territories of Myanmar and Vietnam.

Studiocanal will be looking to sell to European territories, the U.S. and Canada at Mipcom, where the presence of Franco-Canadian actor Schneider is a draw. —Melanie Goodfellow

The Continental: From The World Of John Wick

Katalian Vermes/Starz Entertainment

Distributor: Lionsgate
Length: 3×90’
Producer: Thunder Road Pictures

John Wick has become one of the biggest parts of the cultural zeitgeist, so it was a no-brainer for us to develop the IP for television,” Lionsgate President of International Television and Digital Distribution Agapy Kapouranis says of spinoff The Continental: From the World of John Wick.

Developed, written, and executive produced by Greg Coolidge, Kirk Ward and Shawn Simmons, the three-part series explores the origins behind the hotel-for-assassins, which is the centerpiece of the John Wick film universe. The show will be seen through the eyes of a young Winston Scott as he’s dragged into the hellscape of 1970s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind. Logline reads: “Winston charts a deadly course through the hotel’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the hotel where he will eventually take his future throne.”

While the show takes on the John Wick universe with fresh eyes and a new cast that includes Mel Gibson, Kapouranis says that the series “embraces the originality that Chad Stahelski created with his films.”

“We never strayed from the core mythology. So it feels, behaves, and acts like John Wick, except it’s set in 1970s New York City, and there’s a little bit of London,” Kapouranis says.

The show will debut over three nights in the U.S. on Peacock. Episodes 1 and 3 are directed by Albert Hughes, while Charlotte Brandstrom helmed Episode 2. Amazon Prime Video will take the show international from September 22. Lionsgate will be shopping second window rights at Mipcom Cannes, for when the Amazon window runs down.

“It’s going to be a day-and-date premiere, so it will debut over three nights in every territory for Amazon the same way it will premiere on Peacock,” Kapouranis explains.

“The thing about John Wick is that it’s got a global fan base. With every movie, it kept growing, unlike most franchises, which usually shrink. John Wick just kept getting bigger. And that’s where The Continental fits in for this fanbase, which is thirsty and wants to understand the beginnings of the universe.”

Alongside Gibson, the cast includes Colin Woodell, Mishel Prada, Hubert Point-Du Jour, and Nhung Kate. Writer Ken Kristensen wrote episodes alongside Coolidge, Ward, and Simmons. Executive producers are Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee, Albert Hughes, Kirk Ward, Greg Coolidge, Chad Stahelski, Derek Kolstad, David Leitch, Shawn Simmons, Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese and Marshall Persinger. —Zac Ntim

The Doll Factory

Distributor: Cineflix Rights
Length: 6×52’
Producer: Buccaneer Media

A stylish high-end proposition for buyers this market, The Doll Factory is an adaptation of Elizabeth Macneal’s bestselling period thriller. Commissioned by Paramount+ in the U.K. and pre-selling to SBS in Australia and NZTV in New Zealand, this story of dark obsession has a host of territories on offer via Cineflix Rights.

The Doll Factory is set in 1850 London where Iris (Esme Creed-Rose) paints dolls for a living alongside her twin sister, Rose (Mirren Mack), and dreams of becoming an artist; she secretly paints self-portrait nudes at night. Silas (Eanna Hardwicke) is an ambitious taxidermist and Louis (George Webster) is a painter and member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood searching for his next muse. When Iris meets Silas, and then Louis, she is offered an opportunity to escape and start a new life. To do so, she must abandon her sister, sacrifice her reputation, and launch herself into the unknown.

MarcellaCrime and Whistable Pearl indie Buccaneer Media produced the drama, which will join the lineup of Paramount+ Originals available on the streaming service for audiences in the U.K. and Ireland in late fall.

James Durie, Head of Scripted for Cineflix, says he expects the six-part series to sell on a territory or regional basis during Mipcom. “With the market changing as quickly as it is, global deals are less frequent and less desirable. I’m not sure they have the impact financially and creatively that they did three years ago or so. I feel The Doll Factory is one that is probably more likely to go territory-by-territory, barring anything that Paramount+ does.”

The dark and somewhat gothic series boasts a young female creative team including writer/creator Charley Miles, director Sacha Polak and producer Suzanne McAuley. Macneal was also heavily involved with the creative team.

The novel was penned at the height of the MeToo movement, and Durie says that although this is a period piece, “we really wanted to wrap some of these modern themes and modern ideas into that.”

He continues, “We know Victorian London as this sort of Sherlock Holmes gothic era but this was when lots of art and artists were filtering in and London had a bit of a renaissance period when the drinking dens and those sort of places were becoming hotbeds of intelligentsia. The team wanted to create that kind of atmosphere of exciting young people breaking out and breaking away from that Victorian shackle.” —Nancy Tartaglione

The Truth

About Premium Content

Distributor: About Premium Content
Length: 8×52’
Producers: Endemol Shine Israel, Elvie Production and Place du Marché Productions

French boutique distributor About Premium Content (APC) is hoping that it has unearthed the next big Israeli hit in this true-to-life detective series created by Euphoria’s Daphna Levin.

No Mipcom market would be complete without a plethora of breakout hits from the Middle Eastern nation that has punched above its weight for decades and The Truth looks set to be no exception.

Inspired by true events, the eight-parter starts on the day the most controversial murder case in Israel is to be given a highly anticipated final verdict. But 10 years on, another identical murder takes place. With only two weeks for the police to present their findings to the judges while the first verdict is on hold, young Detective Racheli Zabatani must revisit the past, the events that changed her life and the old case her own father investigated. She has many questions to consider, including whether this is a copycat killer or whether it was a hit ordered by the man convicted for the first case.

Levin is creator with The Missing File duo Aurit Zamir and Dror Misha’ani, alongside Idit Avrahami (H2: The Occupation Lab), and the show for public broadcaster Kan 11 features rising star Mor Dimri as lead, opposite established Israeli names.

Emmanuelle Guilbart, joint-CEO & founder of Wolf outfit APC, says The Truth “delves deep into a high-stakes investigation.”

“Israeli series are known to be bold and excellent in characterization,” she adds. “The Truth is a real illustration of that, weaving a tapestry of intriguing characters and a complex narrative while not shying away from serious themes such as teenage angst, crime sensationalism, family woes and local corruption.”

Guilbart will be targeting North America and key European territories when the show launches at Mipcom. 

She says Israeli shows have benefitted “from a reputation for being high quality” and is hoping to strike multiple deals across broadcast and streaming. But, more broadly, she predicts Israeli commissioning may soon start suffering from the local European streamer quotas, which are leading the major players to order more from the continent—and therefore less from developed nations such as Israel–in order to meet these requirements. 

APC is also shopping Obituary at Mipcom, an Irish crime drama about a small-town obituarist who resorts to murder when work dries up. —MG

While The Men Are Away

Red Arrow Studios International

Distributor: Red Arrow Studios International
Length: 8×30’
Producer: Arcadia

“Love is a battlefield!,” cries the logline of Australian World War II dramedy While the Men Are Away. Australian network SBS’ eight-part series, which is helming Red Arrow Studios International (RASI)’s scripted slate at Mipcom Cannes, flips the traditional World War II romance on its head by focusing on the women left behind. 

Starring Michela De Rossi, Phoebe Grainer, Max McKenna, Jana Zvedeniuk., Matt Testro, Benedict Hardie and Shaka Cook, While the Men Are Away takes a witty approach to telling the stories of those who suddenly found themselves running the show when their significant others headed to the battlefield. Frankie is forced to step up and take charge of her struggling farm when her husband is sent to war. She enlists Gwen and Ester, two freshly joined city-recruits of the Women’s Land Army to join herself, local indigenous farmhand Kathleen, and certified coward Robert.

The series was created by Alexandra Burke, Kim Wilson and Monica Zanetti and penned by a team of female writers.

Rodrigo Herrera Ibarguengoytia, RASI’s VP of Scripted Acquisitions and Co-Productions, compares the show’s tone to recent streamer hits such as Apple TV+’s Dickinson and Amazon Prime Video’s A League of Their Own, which he says “give that modern twist on period drama.” 

He stresses that it is “very much for SBS,” however, which made “bold choices” throughout production via local indie Arcadia.

“It’s a personal favorite of mine,” Ibarguengoytia says of the show. “We were intrigued by the concept from the outset and were tracking it from the early stages.”

Ibarguengoytia was amazed by the topicality of the series and the way in which it “resonates with lots of modern concerns around equality, identity and tolerance” while simultaneously sticking to an “irreverent, subversive tone.”

“From the very opening it is not afraid to poke fun at the social dynamics of the time,” he adds. 

The show skews even more female behind the camera as it does in front and Ibarguengoytia hails the producers’ choice of creative team, which he says adds to the richness of the series. 

Red Arrow is yet to reveal any territory deals for the eight-parter but will be shopping it mainly to English-language buyers at Mipcom, with some non-English speaking territories in mind. 

Ibarguengoytia feels it would work better as a bingeable series than on linear and his Mipcom conversations will very much include global platforms, which could take rights in several territories.

RASI is also shopping Icelandic family drama Descendants at Mipcom this year. —MG

White Lies


Distributor: Fremantle
Length: 6×30’
Producer: Quizzical Pictures

Following 2021’s Reyka, Fremantle has returned to South Africa and reteamed with local producer Quizzical Pictures and M-net for White Lies, a six-part drama series starring Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones).  

Set in the wealthy neighborhood of Bishopscourt, Cape Town, the series follows investigative journalist Edie Hansen (Dormer), who gets caught up in the city’s ugly underbelly, which ultimately drags her to a turbulent past life. Her estranged brother has been murdered in his luxury home, and his teenage children are the prime suspects. As Edie investigates, she finds herself at loggerheads with veteran detective Forty Bell while grappling with the crumbling local police force, a corrupt political system and the secretive world of extreme Cape wealth. 

White Lies is a riveting and unpredictable murder mystery with a shocking conclusion that explores layers of race and privilege, inequality and identity,” says Jens Richter, Fremantle CEO of Commercial and International. “The audience joins Edie on a quest for the truth, which takes her on a journey into the ugly underbelly that lies beneath the beautiful city of Cape Town.” 

The series is produced by Harriet Gavshon and Nimrod Geva for Quizzical Pictures, with Dormer and Darrel Bristow-Bovey also serving as executive producers. The series’ lead director is John Trengove, whose latest film Manodrome, with Jesse Eisenberg and Adrien Brody, debuted at Berlin. Directing alongside Trengove are Thati Pele (Lerato), Catharine Cooke (Reyka), and Christiaan Olwagen (Poppie Nongena). Julie Hodge is executive producing on behalf of Fremantle, which is also distributing the series internationally. 

Richter says White Lies “presents themes in a unique way,” which should “translate globally.”

“Even the city itself becomes a character in this fascinating thriller,” he says. 

Joining Dormer are Brendon Daniels (Trackers), Langley Kirkwood (Warrior), Morgan Santo (Raised by Wolves), Daniel Schultz (Upon the Edge), Jane de Wet (The Girl from St. Agnes), Katlego Lebogang (Wounds), Robert Hobbs (District 9) and Athenkosi Mfamela (Knuckle City). 

Richter adds: “This is a rollercoaster of a series that is well-crafted, beautifully shot and features great performances from Dormer and Daniels.” —ZN

Until I Kill You

Distributor: ITV Studios
Length: 4×60’
Producer: World Productions

ITV’s latest true crime offering tackles one of the biggest U.K. miscarriages of justice of the past generation. From indie World Productions (Line of Duty), which has made some of the network’s biggest series of the past decade, Until I Kill You tells the harrowing story of how Delia Balmer, played by Anna Maxwell Martin, survived a series of violent attacks at the hands of a man who should never have been free to commit his heinous crimes.

When Delia meets John Sweeney (Shaun Evans) in a local North London pub, he seems like the kindred spirit she has been searching for. She has no idea he is a killer, but as his artistic, anti-establishment persona gives way to a darker side, he becomes violent and finally confesses to murdering his former girlfriend. Sweeney is arrested, but then released on bail after a catastrophic failure by the court to recognise how dangerous he really is, leaving him free to subject Delia to a near-fatal attack, and what follows is gruesome. 

The ITV Studios-distributed show will be a flagship for the seller at Mipcom and the team has been on the road shopping it in the week’s leading up to the confab.

Louisa Forsyth, the outfit’s VP Global Content for Scripted, describes the show penned by Pembrokeshire Murders’ Nick Stevens as a “blueprint for success in the true crime genre.”

“Delia’s story was something Nick and World felt had to be told,” she says. “What I like about it is knowing that they have hit it again with portraying the truth around someone, Delia, who is absolutely incredible. This is a fascinating insight from the perspective of a woman who survived attempted murder where others didn’t.”

To that end, Forsyth explains how Stevens spent “hours and hours” with Balmer in order to make her feel comfortable with how the show would be written and gain her trust. “They have kept it very close to the real story and checked with her down to the title of the show to make sure she was comfortable,” Forsyth says. 

ITV Studios will be shopping the show to “all the usual suspects,” Forsyth adds, with BritBox a key target along with buyers in the likes of Australia, Canada, the U.S. and Western Europe. 

Along with “story and subject matter,” the cast will be a big draw, she adds, comparing Line of Duty star Maxwell Martin’s recognizability with the way in which Pembrokeshire Murders star Luke Evans was a key driver for sales of that top-rated series. —MG


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