Magazine article Variety

Italo TV Adapts to Global Tastes

Magazine article Variety

Italo TV Adapts to Global Tastes

Article excerpt

Italian TV is breaking away from a long stretch of shows about prim priests, good cops and bad cardboard cutout mobsters, as shifts in the media landscape prompt local content providers to raise the bar. This, in turn, is generating shows that are putting Italy on the international TV map.

On Oct. 6, Netflix's first Italian original, "Suburra," rolled out in 190 territories, including Italy, of course. The show about corruption in contempo Rome - in which a priest has a heart attack during a cocaine-fueled orgy - will also air domestically on state broadcaster RAI, thanks to an unusual pact with Netflix.

The big change is that the country's creative talent knows it can aspire for a different kind of product. This, in turn, is starting to spawn fresh content that reflects the country's glorious cinematic heritage and is commanding attention at home and abroad.

The following is a compendium of standout Italian TV skeins in various stages, some of which will be shopped at Mipcom.


Italy's real Mafia wars of the 1990s and the battle between the Cosa Nostra and the Italian state is reconstructed through the eyes of a Palermo prosecutor who, thanks to brilliant hunches, spectacular raids and front-page arrests, manages to put hundreds of Mafiosi behind bars. Produced by Cross Prods.


Nicolas Winding Refn is the showrunner on this noir about a squad of French-Italian policemen working in Paris' famous Quai des Orfevres headquarters. Based on crime novels set in Paris by Italian writer Enrico Pandiani, series is expected to lense in 2018. It's being produced by Lucisano Media Group with an unspecified French partner.


The second season of the hit Frank Spotnitz-show produced by Italy's Lux Vide for Rai started shooting in Tuscany in September. While the first season was framed as a whodunnit, the second season is conceived as a coming-of-ager in which Lorenzo de Medici and his posse are depicted as a group of young Florentine revolutionaries.


Best-selling Italian novelist Niccolo Ammaniti is serving as writer-showrunner on this gender-bending skein centered on a statue of the Virgin Mary that weeps tears of blood, produced by FremantleMedia for Sky. Fremantle Italy chief Lorenzo Mieli calls it "the strangest, most innovative show from a narrative standpoint that we've done in Italy so far. …

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