Leading writers and showrunners present at first Club members’ meeting
Atrium TV, the innovative new drama “commissioning club”, held its inaugural members meeting in Cannes last night, on the eve of MIPCOM. Recently announced members, including OTT players and TelCos such as Orange, Movistar+ (Telefonica, Spain) and Iflix, learnt about Atrium’s impressive slate of new scripted content and received pitch presentations from a number of high-profile writers and showrunners, including Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars), Stephen Kronish (24, The Kennedys) and Adi Hasak (Shades of Blue).
Atrium TV sources and develops high-end drama series and shares them with Club members, who then decide if they wish to acquire and invest. Club members will be able to licence chosen series for their territories and will have the right to exploit them in their local markets. Upon launch earlier this year Atrium TV made a firm commitment to creating standout series and only working with the very best producers and writers from around the world: this early slate demonstrates that pledge for the business and its members.
Newly Announced Dramas
Quasimodo (returning series) an epic and lavish new series based on Victor Hugo’s popular and enduring classic, created for a contemporary audience. Set in a tense 15th century Paris, this timeless tale of love, rejection, isolation, religion and politics is being written by Ashley Pharoah and produced by Tracey Scoffield, David Tanner (The Frankenstein Chronicles) and the Emmy® Award-winning lead producer on Game of Thrones, Frank Doelger. David, Tracey and Ashley Pharoah were in Cannes to present their vision for the series. They also announced that Game of Thrones alumni Charles Dance (also present in Cannes) and Peter Dinklage are attached to the project as executive producers.
Jerusalem (10 x 60’) will be a grand and dramatic series about the most inspirational, controversial and fought over city in the world’s history – but with an intensely human perspective. Season one, written by Russell Rothberg (previously head of drama development, Universal Television), will take us back to 1000 BCE and the story of King David, a ruler trying to reunite a fractured country while his son attempts to overthrow him. It is planned for future seasons of Jerusalem to draw on a variety of different time periods from the rich and bloody history of this fascinating city.
Perfect People (returning series), based on the best-selling book of the same name by Peter James, is a shocking, contemporary thriller with a storyline about genetic engineering and its consequences. At its core it explores the depths and intricacies about what it means to be a family, fuelled by twisted mysteries, complex deceptions and the universal loneliness of being human. Showrunner Adi Hasak (Shades of Blue, Eyewitness) presented this series to Atrium TV members.
State of Decay (returning series) is inspired by the international smash hit Microsoft X-Box game of the same name and will be a zombie TV show like no other there has ever been. Showrunner and former president of US network ABC Stephen McPherson presented the series, highlighting the rich, deeply felt characters facing impossible choices, living in a new frontier where anything is possible. While dark and terrifying in places, it is also a story of heroics, hope and redemption – and even has a sense of humour.
These four new titles join two existing series announced at Atrium TV’s launch in April: Fandorin and One Giant Leap. Writer Simon J Ashford (The Musketeers, Robin Hood) and BBC Studio’s Richard Stokes (Silent Witness, Broadchurch) were in Cannes to present Fandorin to members, while writer Stephen Kronish pitched One Giant Leap.
“Nobody knows these series quite like the writers and producers currently developing them, so to have so many of them fly in to Cannes to join our first ever Club meeting and bring the stories to life for our members was incredible”, says Jeremy Fox, Atrium TV CEO.
“From day one we were serious about providing our members with great stories, delivered by exceptional talent and we more than demonstrated that today,” says Sir Howard Stringer, Atrium TV’s chairman. “I’m delighted to say that by gathering some of the world’s leading TelCos and OTT operators together with such luminaries from the writing and producing worlds, our first ever meeting really did feel like an exclusive club.”
Atrium TV was established by Sir Howard Stringer, former chairman of Sony and former president of CBS and Jeremy Fox, chairman of British distributor DRG, specifically to create premium, high profile drama content for delivery by regional OTT players and TelCos. Atrium’s members now include Viaplay (Nordics), Orange (France), Movistar+ (Spain), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Iflix (Asia/MENA), Sky New Zealand, Antenna (Greece), NewFilm (Russia), BigFlix (India) and Yes TV (Israel).