Mipcom promises to be busier than ever with record levels of attendance as the world returns to 2019 levels of dealmaking following the pandemic. Variety’s top picks reflect global content in its myriad forms: From disgraced princes and gymnasts to religious leaders, dinosaurs and precocious children, these shows are a microcosm of the world in 2022, much like Mipcom itself. While the world lurches from crises to conflicts, there is a reassuring constant — the business of entertainment.
Ted Gibson and Kim Vō are big names in celebrity hairdressing and the show goes behind the scenes at high-profile hair salons — Starring Ted Gibson and Kim Vō Salon — catering to the famous and fabulous. The stakes are high, the stylists are ambitious, and this being Los Angeles, a famous client can make or break the establishment. With a glimpse into the rarefied world of $2,400 haircuts, the series goes behind the glossy facade to reveal creative visionaries, heightened ambition and a fight to stay at the top. The show is produced by Fulwell 73, whose credits include “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” “The Kardashians” and “Friends: The Reunion.”
Claim to Fame
(RED ARROW STUDIOS INTL.)
Twelve ordinary people with famous relatives are challenged to keep their identities a secret while exposing the others one by one. Living together in a house, with hints and red herrings hidden in surprising places, the contestants collect clues and source information about each other while protecting their own celebrity’s identity. Every episode delivers a new challenge, with each winner rewarded with immunity from elimination — plus a valuable clue about one contestant. The final challenge winner can choose to guess the famous relative of their competitor or ask them to guess their star’s identity. Whoever has kept their “Claim to Fame” under wraps at the end is the champion and claims a cash prize.
Dinosaur With Stephen Fry
Actor, writer and self-described dinosaur enthusiast Stephen Fry hosts a four-part natural history series tracing the dawn of the dinosaurs to their eventual extinction. Covering a span of 165 million years, Frywill take viewers inside the world of the dinosaurs in 360-degree, hyper-realistic detail, with some help from leading paleontologists, scientists and CGI experts. As audiences travel through different dino habitats, they will meet a new species in each episode — including raptors, diplodocus and of course, the king of the reptile world, T-rex. Most excitingly, the show adopts cutting-edge technology mostly used in sports broadcasts, giving viewers a new perspective into this prehistoric world.
Drops of God
The story follows Camille, a woman living in Paris who hasn’t seen her parents since she was 9. She discovers that her estranged father, a legend in the world of oenology, has died, leaving her the world’s greatest wine collection in his will. But, to claim her inheritance, she must compete against a Japanese man whom her father regarded as a spiritual son. The international series stars Fleur Geffrier and Tomohisa Yamashita. The series, which shot on location in France, Italy and Japan, was written by Quoc Dang Tran, is directed by Oded Ruskin and produced by Dynamic’s Klaus Zimmermann. Producers are Legendary Television and Dynamic Television.
The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies
The first original from sibling writers Penelope and Ginny Skinner, the series tells the story of Alice Newman and Cheryl Harker, and the conman who connects them. Cheryl (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) is a grieving fantasy fiction author, while Alice (Rebekah Staton) is a no-nonsense PA. Rob (Alistair Petrie), meanwhile, is allegedly an eco-minded entrepreneur. They don’t seem to have much in common until Rob’s lies unite them in the most unexpected way, empowering the women to take down the fraudster in their midst. Joining the cast is Romola Garai, who plays Alice’s boss. The show is produced by Sister, producers of “Chernobyl” and “The Split.” Executive producers include Naomi de Pear, Lydia Hampson, Alice Tyler and the Skinners. Georgie Fallon produces.
Based on Italian author Ilaria Bernardini’s bestselling novel “Corpo Libero,” the series revolves around a team of elite female teenage gymnasts engaged in an international competition high up in the snowy Italian mountains. During what is the most important week of their lives, rivalries are fierce, and relationships become complex as the young athletes vie for a chance at making the Olympic team.Many of them have spent years dreaming of victory. Tensions and obsessions escalate until it is revealed that one of the competitors is dead and the police suspect murder. The book will be published in the U.S. and Canada in 2023 with the title “The Girls Are Good.”
The Letter: A Message for Our Earth
(OFF THE FENCE)
Shot with flourish in cinematic style, this high-profile doc interweaves the lives of five main characters — including a tribe chief in the Amazon rain forest and a teenage climate change activist in India — with the urgent call for action to save the planet that Pope Francis made with his “Laudato Si’” Encyclical letter. Each character is invited to Rome for a private audience with the pope, during which they share theirpersonal story and that of their country, revealing new eye-opening perspectives on the state of our planet and the need to rebalance our relations with the environment.
The Night Logan Woke Up
Based on Michel Marc Bouchard’s play “La Nuit où Laurier Gaudreault s’est réveille,” “The Night Logan Woke Up” finds Cannes Jury Prize-winning Quebecois actor-director Xavier Dolan turn to television for the first time. The psychological thriller was adapted and directed by Dolan. It follows a trio of friends — Logan and siblings Mimi and Jules — as their lives are forever altered when Logan, on his 17th birthday, rapes Mimi. Twenty years later, Mimi returns to her hometown following the death of her mother to find closure around the incident. Dolan, who is known to act in his movies, also stars in the film, along with members of the play’s original cast: Julie Le Breton, Magalie Lépine-Blondeau, Éric Bruneau, Patrick Hivon and Julianne Côté.
Prince Andrew: Banished
It’s almost incomprehensible to think that Prince Andrew was once one of the stars of the British royal family: blue-blooded, good looking and a military hero to boot, having flown a helicopter on dangerous missions during the Falklands War. Now, thanks to his friendships with convicted sex offenders Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, Andrew is banished from public life, stripped of his patronages and clinging on to the few titles he has left (including the Duke of York), despite having tried to inveigle his way back into the spotlight at his mother’s funeral last month. In this documentary, Andrew’s inner circle along with palace insiders, journalists and the legal team who brought the allegations to light lift the curtain on Andrew’s spectacular fall from grace — and how he nearly brought down the House of Windsor in the process.
Based on the bestselling novel by Guillaume Musso, “The Reunion” takes place in the present day at a high school reunion in the South of France where three former friends reconnect. Since high school, the group has grown apart and lost touch, but they are still bound by a tragic secret tied to the disappearance of a high school girl who went missing 25 years ago in the region. With the content of the novel being compared to celebrated works including “The Secret History,” “Twin Peaks” and “Gone Girl,” “The Reunion” promises to reveal the darker side of the French Riviera.
(SONY PICTURES TELEVISION)
Three teams of two go head-to-head in a series of fast-paced general knowledge quiz rounds. Correct answers earn cash prizes, which may be useful later, and visual or verbal riddles set by a Riddlemaster. The last pair remaining move into an endgame where they face more riddles that need to be solved against the clock. They also have to decide how to use their cash in a double or nothing final riddle round. The format offers the opportunity for viewers at home to play along and for the appointment of a brainy host. The first iteration of the show goes live in the U.K. in mid-October with Ranvir Singh in the chair, while the format is available at Mipcom.
Written by Alice Der Broek and directed by Fred Berthe, “Serial Lover” stars Jonathan Zacaï as a seductive man leading many different lives as a pilot, a surgeon, a broker and a journalist, developing a new personality for every identity. One day, the women he has scammed decide to join forces to corner him at the risk of endangering their lives. The series marks the first scripted show produced by Banijay France’s new label Shine Fiction, headed by French production veteran Dominque Farrugia. Amaury Fournial from Sibaro Films is co-producing. Banijay Rights is handling international sales.
Executive produced by Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o, “Super Sema” is written by four-time BAFTA winner Claudia Lloyd. It follows the STEAM (science, tech, engineering, the arts and math)-fueled adventures of a brave and heroic 10-year-old girl, Sema, and her twin brother, MB, as they protect their African village from the villainous Tobor and his bungling robot army. A heartless artificially intelligent ruler, Tobor meets his match in Sema, who learns that with determination, creativity and a helping hand from the amazing worlds of science and technology, anything is possible.
Lives and time tick away in Japanese game show format “Time Potion.” Nine contestants compete in three stages. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know what game they are going to play. To stop the countdown clock, players must either complete the mission or find bottles of potion. These can buy them more time, but they can also buy back a spent life or provide a cash prize. So, in addition to playing the game and finding the bottles, players must make an assessment of their progress and how much they need the potion’s help.
You & Me
Harry Lawtey, Jessica Barden and Sophia Brown star in writer Jamie Davis’ contemporary love story “You & Me,” produced by Happy Prince and executive produced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins, Alexander Lamb and Russell T. Davies. Lawtey plays Ben, a young man in London who finds his life changed forever when catastrophe strikes on the happiest day of his life. Barden plays Emma, a rising theater star who hides tragedy behind her success and Brown plays Jess, a young woman whose life takes an unexpected turn when she’s running for a bus. The story is told over two separate timelines.