Red Arrow Studios International’s Breadth of Quality Content Shines
Armed with a broad range of content across various in-demand genres, Red Arrow Studios International has been helping broadcasters to fill their schedules with the type of programming audiences are very much craving during these challenging times. “During the lockdown period, there’s been a definite demand for feel-good, positive, family-friendly fare,” says Tim Gerhartz, senior VP of global sales. “So, on the scripted front, our catalog of TV movies has done particularly well; it’s easygoing, feel-good content that appeals to a broad family audience, and it’s easy and flexible for broadcasters to schedule.”
In terms of unscripted, the company has been notching up tape sales for format brands such as Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds and Married at First Sight, “which are both proven ratings winners,” says Gerhartz. “Married at First Sight, in particular, has many hours of finished tapes available across numerous languages, so we’ve generated a lot of business from that title, particularly with those broadcasters that also produce their own versions and were looking to extend the brand across their schedules and benefit from the halo effect of a hit show in a cost-effective way.” The U.S. version, produced by Kinetic Content for Lifetime and renewed for another six seasons, is a top pick for broadcasters around the world, as is the Australian version, which has been a hit for Nine Network. This year, the Aussie treatment was acquired by Lifetime in the U.S. and Channel 4 in the U.K. Further finished sales include SVT picking up the Norwegian version, SIC Portugal licensing the Italian and New Zealand adaptations and PRO Plus Slovenia acquiring Married at First Sight Croatia.
Red Arrow Studios International has also seen strong demand for quick-turnaround formats, particularly high-volume, lower-cost shows that can play in a variety of slots and can be produced easily under COVID-19 protocols. For example, the format Block Out, which Red Arrow Studios developed with Nippon TV and July August Productions, was recently commissioned for 65 episodes in Spain and also in the Netherlands for the kids’ channel NPO Zapp. “Broadcasters are also experimenting with these types of formats in prime time, as the lower price points mean the risk is also a lot lower,” Gerhartz says.
On the flip side, buyers are also interested in big brands, he adds, “shows that can really make a difference to their schedules and will define their networks. On that front, we are having a lot of conversations about our prime-time entertainment format Beat the Channel, which has been a huge hit in Germany across four seasons and has been licensed to France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Middle East.” Produced by Florida Entertainment for ProSieben in Germany, the format sees two presenters compete to win a 15-minute live slot on their host network, where literally anything goes.
With regard to scripted, networks are being selective, Gerhartz says. “The willingness to take risks on series without a proven track record is lower; however, we are fortunate to have several returning premium dramas in our catalog that are all performing well.” He points to Vienna Blood, a crime drama produced by Endor Productions and MR Film for ORF (Austria) and ZDF (Germany), and the conspiracy thriller Departure, produced by Shaftesbury and Greenpoint Productions for Global in Canada. The new seasons of both Vienna Blood and Departure will deliver in 2021. Also, Bosch, produced by Fabrik Entertainment for Amazon Studios, continues to be a mainstay of the company’s catalog. Commissioned for a seventh season, it is Amazon’s longest-running series, and the second-window rights sell widely.
“We are also a big supplier of quality, critically acclaimed non-English-language drama like Dignity, The Bank Hacker and Falco,” says Gerhartz. “The increasing globalization of drama means viewers are more accepting of subtitled and dubbed content than ever before.”
In the factual arena, Red Arrow Studios International is focused on supplying premium brands such as The Weekly, the acclaimed half-hour documentary series that just won four awards at the News and Documentary Emmys, and The Weekly: Special Edition, a collection of 8x1-hour premium, standalone documentaries. Both are produced by Red Arrow’s Left/Right and The New York Times for FX and Hulu.
“Our priority for fall/winter 2020 and beyond is to push our new launches, but also continue to build on our existing format brands and key dramas,” Gerhartz says.
In terms of launches, the company has several new formats, including How to Become Superhuman, a new adventure format from Snowman Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company, for Discovery (Denmark), as well as the feel-good reality format Dieting with My Dog, produced by Red Arrow’s Redseven Entertainment for SAT.1 in Germany.
Red Arrow Studios International also has a new package of romantic-comedy TV movies, produced by North American producers for Hallmark and Lifetime in the U.S., bringing its TV-movie catalog to over 500 titles.
In terms of existing brands, Married at First Sight will continue to be a big priority, both as a format and as a finished tape—particularly season 11 of Married at First Sight USA and season seven of Married at First Sight Australia. Another priority is A League of Their Own, the BAFTA Award-winning panel show that mixes sports, comedy and entertainment. “The show is doing exceptionally well in Germany, where it returns for its fourth season in November, while in the U.K., season 15 has just aired on Sky, which has already committed to an additional two seasons,” Gerhartz says. The show also launched this summer as Game On! on CBS in the U.S.
See Red Arrow Studios International’s Fall 2020 Showcase here.
More from Red Arrow Studios International
The Weekly: Special Edition
(Factual, 8x60 min.) A powerful new collection of standalone, premium documentaries, driven by the unparalleled journalism and insight of The New York Times. Produced by The New York Times and Left/Right for FX and Hulu.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com
How to Become Superhuman
(Fact-ent./reality format) A group of celebrities seeks to unlock their own superpowers and achieve the impossible in this extreme new adventure format. Produced by Snowman Productions for Discovery (Denmark).
Dieting with My Dog
(Fact-ent./reality format) The new reality format that sees overweight owners and their pudgy pets join forces to lose weight together. Produced by Redseven Entertainment for SAT.1 (Germany).
(Scripted series/drama, 3x90 min./6x45 min.) A thrilling crime drama set in 1900s Vienna, where cultures and ideas collide in the city’s cafes and opera houses, from acclaimed screenwriter Steve Thompson. From Endor Productions and MR Film in co-production with Red Arrow Studios International, ZDF (Germany) and ORF (Austria), with the assistance of Televisionfund Austria, TV-Filmfund Vienna and Niederoesterreich Kultur.
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com
(Scripted series/thriller, 6x45 min.) A high-octane conspiracy thriller about the shocking disappearance of Flight 716, starring Emmy Award winner Archie Panjabi and Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer. Produced by Shaftesbury and Greenpoint Productions in association with Corus Entertainment for Global (Canada).
Watch now on WorldScreenings.com
(Scripted series/thriller, 8x52 min.) A haunting thriller inspired by the real-life story of a mysterious German sect established by a former Nazi soldier in Chile. Produced by Invercine & Wood and Story House Pictures for Joyn (Germany) and MEGA (Chile).
(Game-show/ent. format) The entertaining new physical game show that challenges contestants to stay on the wall—or have a great fall. Created by Nippon TV and Red Arrow Studios for Channel 7 (Thailand).
A League of Their Own
(Game-show/ent. format) The hilarious, BAFTA Award-winning panel show that mixes sport, comedy and entertainment. Produced by CPL Productions for Sky One (U.K.).
Beat the Channel
(Game-show/ent. format) The riotous entertainment format where two popular presenters get the chance to win a 15-minute live broadcast slot, where anything goes. Produced by Florida Entertainment for ProSieben (Germany).
Married at First Sight
(Fact-ent./reality format) The worldwide hit relationship format, now produced in over 29 countries. Produced by Snowman Productions for DR1/DR3 (Denmark).
Visit Red Arrow Studios International’s Screening Room
Red Arrow Studios International Contacts: Joel Denton, Acting President; Tim Gerhartz, SVP, Global Sales; Shirley Bowers, VP, Sales & Acquisitions (North America, Australia, New Zealand); Tobias Schulze, VP, Sales (France & German-Speaking Territories); Shakira Hoffmann, Senior Sales Manager (CEE, CIS, Greece); Maria Arroyo, Senior Sales Manager (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Israel, Latin America).