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MipTV: Lionsgate’s Peter Iacono Teases L.A. Screenings Slate

Variety logo Variety 4/4/2017 Leo Barraclough
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At MipTV in Cannes on Tuesday, Lionsgate Television’s president of international television and digital distribution Peter Iacono gave international buyers a taste of the studio’s slate to be presented at the L.A. Screenings.

In an onstage presentation, Iacono reminded buyers that Lionsgate has been transformed since the Mipcom conference in October following the merger with Starz.

“We have doubled in size, and one of the key strategic advantages of this merger is you’re going to see — not at this L.A. Screenings, but at subsequent screenings and beyond — having a network is going to allow us to have more productions and retain more rights,” he said. “So we’re very, very excited about that.”

“Ten Days in the Valley,” which stars Kyra Sedgwick, will be the “cornerstone” of the L.A. Screenings for Lionsgate, Iacono said. The show, which is the first fruits of its co-venture with Skydance Media, will air on ABC as part of the 2017/2018 lineup. “Rookie Blue” co-creator Tassie Cameron is on board as showrunner.

Sedgwick plays a successful TV showrunner on a cop show, juggling her job with being a single mother. “Her real life… starts to merge with her dramatized life as she meets some folks from the police department and her daughter gets kidnapped,” Iacono explained.

Her life spirals out of control as she delves deeper into the mystery of the abduction. “Every time you think you know something in the show, there’s another secret. Every time you think you understand someone, there’s another lie,” Iacono said.

Also on the slate is historical drama “White Princess,” based on Philippa Gregory’s series of novels, and following on from Starz’s “White Queen,” albeit with an all-new cast. “White Princess” will air on Starz on April 16.

Iacono also presented footage from three-hour scripted event show “Dirty Dancing,” which will air on May 24 on ABC. “It is a retelling of the classic story that we have all come to know and love from the film,” he said. The show stars Abigail Breslin as Baby Houseman and Colt Prattes as Johnny Castle.

Lionsgate will also be presenting a competition game-show at the L.A. Screenings: “Candy Crush Saga,” based on the mobile game. It will feature two giant game boards, measuring 23 feet across and 33 feet high. It would include physical challenges, such as one he described as a “Mission: Impossible” challenge. “You’re suspended from a high-wire, and your partner’s controlling the wires,” he said. The show will air on CBS at 9p.m. following “Big Brother.”

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