Magazine article Variety

Canal Plus Banks on Original Drama

Magazine article Variety

Canal Plus Banks on Original Drama

Article excerpt

With the launch of Netflix in France, the competition for subscribers has heated up, and Gallic pay TV giant Canal Plus is now, more than ever, banking on premium original drama, and building bridges with local and international film and TV talent, to keep its 11 million subs happy, and lure more.

A decade ago, Canal Plus was all about soccer and films. But today, the TV landscape has changed, and the paybox - which has lost some of its French soccer rights to Al Jazeera's Bein Sports - has begun to measure its value in high-quality local series rather than be overly dependent on U.S. drama imports (such as "Scandal," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Revenge"). Fabrice de la Patelliere, the boss of Canal Plus' fiction department, is kicking off a new chapter in the pay TV group's history by joining forces with James Gray on "Hard Apple," an English-language adult-skewing animated series; "Jour polaire," a Swedish thriller penned by "Bron" co-writers Bjorn Stein and Mans Marlind; and "Branquo" creator Olivier Marchal's series "Section Zero," produced by Luc Besson's EuropaCorp.

Canal Plus' budget for original fiction in 2015 is $60 million, up from $54 million from 2014. De la Patelliere notes the net is eager to jump into different genres. …

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