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LA Screenings: Procedural Dramas, ‘Young Sheldon’ Draw Interest From International Buyers

Variety logo Variety 5/26/2017 Cynthia Littleton
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International TV buyers who gathered on studio lots this week for the annual LA Screenings market were glad to see the broadcast networks embracing procedural dramas for the coming season.

New dramas such as CBS’ “SWAT” and “SEAL Team,” ABC’s “Deception” and “For the People,” Fox’s “The Resident” and NBC “The Brave” and “Reverie” were generating some heat among the roughly 1,500 international TV buyers who took part in the weeklong marathon of screenings of new series for the 2017-18 season.

Buyers and sellers alike agreed that this year’s crop didn’t have a clear breakout hit among the international buyers but the number of procedural dramas on the slate was a welcome change from the recent past.

“The more things change the more they stay the same,” said Armando Nunez, president of CBS Studios International. The largest broadcast networks in major TV markets in European, Latin America and Asia tend to gravitate to the close-ended storytelling of procedurals.

Nunez was happy to see strong interest in CBS TV Studios offerings “Wisdom of the Crowd,” starring Jeremy Piven, and “Instinct,” toplined by Alan Cumming in addition to the high-octane David Boreanaz starrer “SEAL Team.”

Gina Brogi, president of global distribution for Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, said the studio had strong response to its “X-Men”-inspired drama “The Gifted,” which is getting a big fall push from Fox. The mixture of the family dynamic and fantasy-superhero themes give the show a multigenerational appeal, she said. “Gifted” follows a family that goes on the run when they discover that their teenage kids have supernatural powers.

Brogi said she was also happy to see a strong response to both of Fox’s single-camera comedies, “LA to Vegas” and “Ghosted.” Last year, the single-camera comedy “The Mick” proved to be a sleeper success story in key international markets, which has strengthened the appetite for offbeat comedies.

“Comedies do still work,” she said. “LA to Vegas” is in the vein of “Mick” in being “very broad,” she added.

Buyers also responded well to the CBS/Warner Bros. TV comedy “Young Sheldon.” Given its pedigree as a prequel to “The Big Bang Theory,” there was heat around the show despite its tonal differences from “Big Bang.”

(Pictured: “SEAL Team,” “The Gifted”)

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