ITV Studios announces raft of scripted sales in Japan


ITV Studios has today announced a host of scripted content sales in Japan, ahead of its first ever Tokyo Festival; which will be held as an online screening this week.

Deals have been completed with a number of channels and platforms for a wide range of programming; from contemporary titles such as Gold Digger, A Confession and European drama Balthazar, to classic shows including Inspector Morse and Sherlock Holmes.

ITV Studios series

U-NEXT has acquired series two of French crime procedural Balthazar from Beaubourg Stories; with AXN Mystery also picking the first series up on second run.

Also included in AXN Mystery’s deal is Mainstreet Pictures’ relationship thriller Gold Digger; as well as Silverprint Pictures’ multi-award winning crime dramas Vera (series nine) and Shetland (series 4).

AXN Mystery also renewed its package deal with ITV Studios; with programming including series 1-7 of Inspector Morse, series 1-3 of Lewis and Sherlock Holmes.

A deal with WOWOW PLUS was secured for A Confession, written by Oscar-nominated Jeff Pope and produced by ITV Studios Factual Drama and Urban Myth Films; series two of Tall Story Pictures’ contemporary thriller Bancroft and series 5 of Mammoth Screen’s award-winning Poldark; while Channel Ginga has secured Monumental Pictures’s period drama Harlots, set against the backdrop of 18th century Georgian London, on second run.

Top drama: Japanese viewers love a bit of top British drama, like Poldark.

Series six of Mammoth’s long-running crime drama Endeavour was acquired by WOWOW, which also secured the first five series for its SVOD service; while NHK Enterprises also picked up series four of the show and relicensed series three; as well as relicensing the first two series of Inspector Morse.

Meanwhile, a re-license library package was also completed with TFC for titles including Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, The Secret Service, Fireball XL-5, Four Feather Falls and Super Car.

Japanese audiences

Augustus Dulgaro, Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific Sales & Distribution at ITV Studios, said: “Our scripted catalogue has long been enjoyed by Japanese audiences.

“From our fast-growing selection of European drama productions like Balthazar to our continual pipeline of new contemporary thrillers, the long-running favourites such as Vera and Endeavour to the classic shows such as Inspector Morse, viewers in Japan continue to be entertained by our hugely exciting content.”

“I’m looking forward to our new slate being introduced to buyers this week with our inaugural Tokyo festival.”

That slate, which was first announced at ITV Studios’ recent London Drama Festival, includes World Productions up-coming adrenaline-fuelled thriller Vigil; Mammoth Screen’s The Singapore Grip, adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton from J.G. Farrell’s classic novel; Little Birds, from Warp Films, inspired by the short stories created by Anaïs Nin; and Cattleya and Groenlandia’s Romulus, an ambitious drama that reconstructs the epic tale of Rome.

ITV Studios is represented by Plandas in Japan. All deals were brokered by Camelia Mowbray, Senior Sales Manager, Pacific Rim at ITV Studios.