Magazine article Variety

Hbo Europe Gives Drama Full 'Treatment'

Magazine article Variety

Hbo Europe Gives Drama Full 'Treatment'

Article excerpt

BUDAPEST

"Be Tipul" has been treating HBO Europe quite well. Offshoots of the original TV drama based on the Israeli format that was the foundation of HBO's Stateside series "In Treatment" have already scored second seasons in Poland (where the show is called "Bez Tajemnic"), Romania ("In Deriva") and the Czech Republic ("Terepie") as well as premiering in Hungary last month (as "Terapia").

The offshoots were the first fiction productions of HBO Europe, headquartered in Budapest, which programs TV channels in 15 countries.

The series have been so wellreceived by subscribers (spawning a total of 145 episodes) that they've allowed the international arm of the pay TV company to aggressively program more original content at a time when terrestrial broadcasters in the region are cutting back due to falling advertising revenue.

HBO Europe CEO Linda Jensen says the network is thankful it has been able to retain its robust subscription base (it won't reveal numbers), despite Europe's financial woes, but adds that the company has followed a clearly marked path, focusing first on documentary films, which Antony Root, HBO Europe's executive VP for original programming and production, calls the heart of the HBO brand.

HBO Europe chose its doc topics carefully, aiming for edginess and cultural relevance. The result was hits such as "Miss Plastic" (HBO Hungary, 2009), which documented a beauty contest for women who've had breast enhancements, and, a year later, "The World According to Ion B" (HBO Romania), which followed the rise to fame of an elderly, homeless street artist after his discovery by a Bucharest gallery owner. …

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