The combination of Banijay and Endemol Shine created a content powerhouse that has brought its global distribution engine, Banijay Rights, a prolific catalog of more than 135,000 hours of programming. Its slate houses content from Banijay’s 120-plus in-house labels, as well as third-party producers, with genres that run the gamut from drama, comedy and entertainment to factual, reality, family programming, formats and theatrical.
MIPCOM marks the first real physical global outing for the newly combined entity, which will take meetings in a brand-new two-story stand made of eco-friendly and sustainable materials. The market is “huge for us as a company,” says Matt Creasey, executive VP of sales, co-productions and acquisitions at Banijay Rights. “It’s the first time a lot of us will meet face-to-face, so we’re all really excited about the ‘launch’ of Banijay, as it were, and the new Banijay Rights. And to get that buzz of Cannes again.”
The company’s drama slate for the market illustrates just how varied the scripted landscape is at the moment. Its highlights range from the historical period drama Marie Antoinette, about the modern and avant-garde young queen; to the limited series Rogue Heroes, set against the backdrop of WWII and infused with action, rock and roll, and brotherhood; and Stonehouse, based on the true story of the rise and fall of MP John Stonehouse. There are also Riches, a family drama set in the world of high-class London; Bali 2002, based on the 2002 terrorist attacks on Bali’s tourist hotspots; and Serial Lover, the story of a man who has lived many different lives and brings women into his web of deceit. “It’s such an eclectic group of dramas,” says Creasey. “There are buyers all around the world for these types of shows. The world is open to variety in terms of scripted.”
Banijay Rights’ catalog of entertainment formats is an enviable one by any measure, home to such global behemoths as MasterChef, Big Brother and Survivor, which continue to go from strength to strength. “We are seeing the opposite of what a lot of people thought would happen, that these shows would fall away; we’ve seen them grow,” says Creasey. He points to the U.K. return of both Big Brother and Survivor as testament to their vibrancy.
These proven hits sit alongside newcomers like Blow Up, a competition for balloon artists; Starstruck, where everyday people transform into some of the world’s biggest music icons; and Le Plus Grand Karaoké de France. There’s also a new iteration in the MasterChef franchise in MasterChef Young Talent, featuring 13- to 18-year-olds. Creasey notes: “Through our unbelievable network of producers and third-party relationships, Banijay has the ability to create an impressive array of formats and non-scripted content that can be rolled out throughout the world.”
Entertainment, he says, is in high demand. “Scripted is often talked about, but we mustn’t forget that entertainment is massive! It is such a key part of Banijay’s [catalog] and is, of course, one of our priorities for MIPCOM.”
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