Deadline Hot Ones: The Biggest Drama Series Heading To Mip TV Including Police Thrillers, Royal Hybrids & Shipwrecks

Mip TV is just around the corner and, as ever, the content will be king. Here, Deadline walks you through seven of the buzziest dramas set for the Croisette, featuring police thrillers, a Royal Family docu-drama and Beta Film’s latest about the MS Estonia shipwreck. Read on for the best-in-class projects heading to Cannes for the April 17-19 confab.

Blue Lights

Distributor: BBC Studios

Network: BBC One

Episodes: 6 x 60

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Having just launched on BBC One primetime, Blue Lights is the latest precinct drama from Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson, the creators of the critically-acclaimed Salisbury Poisonings. In Gallagher Films/Two Cities Productions’ show, the pair, who worked for years as investigative journalists, turn their hands to the troubled situation in Belfast, a uniquely dangerous place to be a Police Officer. Grace (Siân Brooke), a mother of a teenage boy, has made the decision in her 40s to leave her steady job as a social worker to join the Police Service of Northern Ireland, while she is joined by rookies Annie (Katherine Devlin), who struggles with the fact that her chosen path may mean having to leave everything she’s ever known behind, and Tommy (Nathan Braniff), who is desperate to prove himself. As all three battle their way through probation, this darkly funny drama, which is inspired by extensive interviews, deals with what happens when ordinary people do an extraordinary job in a society that could spiral out of control at any moment. The show comes to the Croisette with millions of viewers flocking to watch it on BBC One each week, which isn’t a bad starting point. Fans of The Salisbury Poisonings – 2020’s biggest new BBC drama – are in for a treat.

Platform 7

Distributor: Fremantle

Network: ITVX

Episodes: 4 x 60

This is no “traditional ‘spooky’ ghost story,” says Platform 7 creator Paula Milne, the BAFTA-winning writer of Small Island and The Politician’s Wife. Milne’s latest, one of new streamer ITVX’s highest profile early commissions, is a chilling tale of emotional abuse and coercive control and, yes, there are supernatural elements. BAFTA-nominated Top Boy star Jasmine Jobson plays Lisa Evans, trapped at a railway station with no memory of who she is. As she begins to piece things together, she realizes she is dead. Lisa has no recollection of how this happened and needs to discover the truth of her past life, sending her down memory lane where she reflects on how her naturally charming boyfriend treated her with disdain. Leading Fremantle’s Mip TV scripted catalog, Platform 7 comes from Dancing Ledge, a UK production company on top of its game having helmed Martin Freeman-starring five-time BAFTA nominee The Responder amongst others.

The Royal Mob

Distributor: eOne

Network: Sky History

Episodes: 6 x 60

It was tricky to know whether to put this hybrid drama-doc into the scripted or non-scripted category but, on balance, we opted for the former. The Royal Mob comes from Nutopia, the Transatlantic makers of Netflix double African Queens: Njinga and The Last Czars, both of which have been leading the charge in the drama-doc space. Told through the eyes of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters – the beautiful Hesse sisters, and their passionate and doomed love affairs across Europe’s Royal courts – the series lifts the lid on a story which set cousin against cousin, relative against relative, and which saw millions plunged into the bloodiest war the world had ever known. Shedding light on the final throes of the most powerful empires of all time, The Royal Mob, which pulled in the punters for Sky, looks sure to make some noise on the Croisette, repping a sub-genre that is having quite the moment.

Good Morning Chuck

Distributor: Cineflix Rights

Network: Crave

Episodes: 10 x 60

Canada is on a hot streak at the moment and Good Morning Chuck, which is in competition at the concurrent Canneseries, could be the nation’s next big thing. Greenlit by local network Crave, Good Morning Chuck forms the centerpiece of Cineflix’s Mip TV catalog. It comes from Jean-François Rivard, the multi-award-winning co-director of Happilly Married, and follows the eponymous Chuck, the beloved host of the morning show Bon matin, un café?, who finds himself on the front page of all the newspapers and gossip magazines after a scandal involving his drug and alcohol addiction erupts. All of Quebec is in shock, but for those close to him, this is the final straw. With his reputation on the line, Chuck heads to rehab in order to convince his spouse, his agent, and the public of his (relative) goodwill. The show joins factual series Hitler’s Engineers in Cineflix’s catalog and could make a splash amongst a number of Canadian projects being shopped at Cannes.

The Brigade

Distributor: Studiocanal

Network: Canal+

Episodes: 8 x 60

Distributor Studiocanal is betting big on an action-packed drama that digs deep into the arcane power of the Parisian Police force while providing suspense, adrenaline and action. Jumping upon buyers’ current penchant for shows about police corruption, The Brigade, which is directed, created and written by Jeremie Guez (Sons of Philadelphia, Black Box), follows Saïd, an ex-member of the special forces. He oversees the B.R.I., an elite police unit specialized in fighting organized crime and terrorism, attempting to integrate a new team while preventing a gang war. This fiery eight-parter from Cheyenne Federation packs a punch and could lead the charge on the new breed of police drama.


Distributor: APC

Network: BBC

Episodes: 6 x 60

BBC crime thriller Wolf is the latest big bet from Sherlock creator Hartswood Films alongside boutique French producer-distributor APC. This is the next generation of darkly epic crime thriller. Based on the acclaimed Jack Caffery novels, Wolf is aiming to make a star of Ukweli Roach, who leads as DI Caffery, a young man searching for himself. Obsessed with the neighbor he believes murdered his 10-year-old brother in the 90s, Jack finds himself trying to right the wrongs of others – but at what cost? Meanwhile, in an isolated house in Monmouthshire, the wealthy Anchor-Ferrers find themselves the victims of a psychopath’s cruel games. When the two narratives collide, the DI finds himself racing against time. Wolf has been in the offing for some time and is one of the highest-profile projects that will be doing the rounds in Cannes.


Distributor: Beta Film

Network: TV4, Cmore, MTV and ProSiebenSat.1

Episodes: 8 x 60

“We all have to become a bit more Scandinavian,” declared Beta Film MD Moritz von Kruedener at last month’s Series Mania. Von Kruedener was referring to the way in which shows such as the Beta-distributed Estonia now require buy-in from multiple networks from early on in the production process. Estonia was his prime example, a show that Beta is now presenting at Mip TV. The eight-parter counts networks in Germany and the Nordics as partners and follows the tragic story of the MS Estonia, which was caught in a catastrophic storm off the coast of Finland in 1994. Despite a dramatic rescue operation under the most difficult conditions, the ship sinks within 30 minutes, sweeping 852 souls to their deaths, and the terrible tragedy poses multiple questions. It may not be the most cheery story and certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted but, given the success of Beta’s Berlinale TV Series hit The Swarm, expect Estonia to walk away from Cannes with a few more partners than it entered with.

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