Showtime-the-borgias-copros

How Co-Productions Are Changing Scripted TV

by Cate Lecuyer Marian  |  05.19.2017

If drama were a patient in a hospital, it would be in need of some psychological help, joked Entertainment One CEO John Morayniss at C21’s Drama Summit West conference in Los Angeles on Friday.

“The art and commerce of our business has never been more unpredictable,” he said. “It’s interesting, but it’s also challenging.”

He, along with BBC Worldwide Productions Head of Scripted Matt Loze and WME Global Television agent Lorenzo De Maio, tackled where scripted television is headed as many networks wrap up their annual upfront presentations.

“We’re going obviously through a renaissance right now,” Morayniss said. “The models are changing dramatically and the bar keeps going up and up in terms of quality.”

And that’s due in part to the rise in co-productions.

“Everyone is interested in partnerships, because they’re worried about risk,” Morayniss said.

While collaborating on projects allows individual companies to take less of a financial hit if they’re unsuccessful, it’s also leading to bigger budgets and better shows. And these large-scale international co-productions are inciting viewers to become more open to global points of views.

“U.S. audiences have always been open to it, but Netflix has shown that the opportunity exists where you can create something with specificity to it,” Morayniss said.

Americans remain the largest and most valuable audience for television. As Morayniss puts it, “If you don’t have a strategy to get it sold in the U.S. marketplace, you fail.” So, this cultural embrace of international stories means more networks have been willing to take risks on niche content.

International co-productions are also drawing global talent such as renowned filmmakers and writers to scripted television, which is driving another trend.

“The deals are changing so much because we’re all noticing the fact that creators want more control of their shows,” De Maio said.

And digital properties such as Apple TV and Facebook have entered the scene with platforms that allow creators to distribute content straight to audiences, rather than going through a rigorous production process.

“That barrier to entry is collapsing,” De Maio said. Networks need to empower creators to develop the best content possible, he said.

The rise of digital is also sparking successful smaller projects, like short-form productions, digital series and the ability to experiment with different types of content. For instance, podcasts can be a great way to test out an idea, De Maio said. With so many options, the plethora of content continues to grow.

“We’re all suffering from the strain of not being able to watch what’s out,” Loze said. But it’s a good problem to have.

“I’ve never been more excited,” De Maio said, “about what’s on TV.”

← Back

New from Daily Brief

Take Five With Jerrod Carmichael, Star of NBC's 'The Carmichael Show'
Carmichael talks about creating a sitcom for adults, how jazz helps him think and his creative process.
Stephen Arnold Music to Raffle Off Replica Guitars at PromaxBDA Conferences
Showcase at PromaxBDA: The Conference features guitars played by The Beatles, while Station Summit guitars are inspired by local newscasts.
HOT SPOT: Lifetime's Chilling Spot for 'Menendez: Blood Brothers'
Agency The Shop times music perfectly to the drama to promote retelling of infamous murders.
Take Five: Warm-Up Comic and 'Life of Dad' Entrepreneur Tom Riles
Riles talks warming up "Ellen Show" audiences, the #CheerioChallenge and Father's Day.
Brett Ratner Comes on Board PromaxBDA: The Conference 2017 as Keynote Speaker
Joins previously announced keynote speakers, including Justin Simien, creator of Netflix’s "Dear White People"; The Black List’s Franklin Leonard; "Master of None"’s Lena Waithe; Viceland President and GM Guy Slattery; E!’s and Esquire President Adam Stotsky and many more.
‘Claws’ Brings New Meaning to a Trip to the Nail Salon
“Who do you think we are? Some multi-ethnic steel magnolia trash from Palmetto?”
Jun 5
The Conference 2017
Jun 8
PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design North America Awards 2017
Jun 8
PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design Global Excellence Awards 2017
Jun 19
Station Summit 2017
Jun 22
The PromaxBDA Awards at Station Summit
SAM Guitar Giveaway PMX17 Advertisement Power Your Career Advertisement