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Hot Properties October 2020

Programming Profile

Hot Properties for October 2020


As the world continues to come to terms with a new normal, large numbers of people are turning to their screens for escapism. However, despite most productions now resuming after Covid-enforced shutdowns, knock-on delays continue to cause headaches for broadcasters with gaps to fill for those captive audiences.


We’ve selected a wide range of titles for October’s Hot Properties playlist on C21 Digital Screenings, which showcases new programmes from leading international distributors to help refresh broadcaster schedules and platforms.


For those buyers on the hunt for laughs, look no further than Canadian hit Schitt’s Creek. The six-season CBC show follows a rich family that suddenly finds themselves broke. Recently winning nine awards at last month’s Emmys, becoming the first basic cable series to win outstanding comedy series in the process, the show is shopped internationally by ITV Studios.


More comedy comes from Two Weeks to Live, described as “a darkly comic tale of love and revenge born from a seemingly harmless prank that goes terribly wrong.” Banijay Rights distributes the half-hour show internationally.


On the drama front, we have highlighted two Russian series. Six Empty Seats is from GPM TV subsidiary 1-2-3 Production and was named best series at this year’s edition of Czech TV event Serial Killer Fest. It is described as “a provocative contemporary drama about a small, diverse group of clerks who are given a second chance after accidentally avoiding a plane crash.”


The other Russian title is Nowhereland, from broadcaster 2×2 and GPM TV. The paranormal series centres on a teenager who moves to small town with his mother and encounters various mysteries.


German drama also features in this month’s Hot Properties playlist. Storm of Love is a telenovela-style series from Bavaria Media for German channel Das Erste. It follows a family that owns an Alpine hotel and the “emotional upheavals that plague each season’s new young lovers,” according to the producers.


Two telemovies are on the list. The first, from MarVista Entertainment in LA, is The Christmas Ball. It tells the story of a woman who, struggling in her dance career, heads across the world to help her aunt plan a Christmas ball as part of a pitch to make her aunt’s manor a historical landmark. Continuing the holiday movie theme, My Dad’s Christmas Date (SPI International) is also on offer, following a widower and his daughter over the festive period.


Soulmates, meanwhile, is an AMC Studios anthology series set 15 years into the future, when science has made a test that unequivocally tells people who their soulmate is. Written by Will Bridges (Stranger Things, Black Mirror) and Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso, Superbob), the first season is set to debut on AMC this month.


Entertainment formats are also in the mix, including Drive’s The Chop, which follows 10 of the UK’s best carpenters as they compete for their own exhibition. Flea Market Challenge, from Rabbit Films, challenges three ordinary people to see who is the best seller at a local flea market. Beyond Distribution’s Pooch Perfect, meanwhile, is a new primetime entertainment format that artfully combines our love of competitive reality shows and our love of dogs.


More unscripted programming comes with West One International’s Wild Dynasties, about animals that are elites in the wild, while Albatross’s Grizzly Encounters is a non-hosted look at bears living along Alaska’s Katmai coast and in Denali National Park.


Wild Canadian Weather, from CBC and the makers of the acclaimed Wild Canada and The Wild Canadian Year, is an epic new 4K nature series following stories of extreme weather, while Ruptly’s No Way Back: Trash is an investigation into the impact of human waste on the planet.


Cineflix Rights series Ambulance: Code Red “captures every critical moment as Britain’s top doctors and paramedics do whatever it takes to save lives,” according to the distributor, and What Happened to Your Face (NENT Studios UK) promises to get under the skin of celebrities and plastic surgery.


The world of online retail is explored in Extreme Unboxing, from A+E Networks, in particular the frantic bidding war that goes on for returned goods at auction; while Blue Ant’s Legends vs Modern Icons looks into the world’s latest engineering achievements, high-tech vehicles and superlative constructions.


London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year (Entertainment One) offers exclusive access inside ZSL London Zoo during lockdown, as its staff and keepers care for more than 500 species, while The Weekly: Special Edition (Red Arrow Studios International) is a powerful new collection of standalone premium documentaries driven by the journalism and insight of The New York Times.


Landmark six-part docuseries 1,000 Years of History, from Passion Distribution, sees UK producers Middlechild, Lambent Productions and Raise The Roof Productions work together to tell the stories of six countries – the US, Australia, China, Russia, Ireland and Scotland – in this Channel 5 commission.


For buyers seeking kids’ content, this month’s playlist features ZDF Enterprises’ Space Nova, a future-set animated series about a family of astronauts, while Cake’s Jorel’s Brother is a Cartoon Network series that has amassed a devoted fanbase across Latin America. Tik Tak, from UK-based Serious Lunch, is an eclectic toddler show that stimulates children’s cognitive development in a relaxed, simple way.


Parents of preschoolers will love the reboot of classic series Clangers from Jetpack Distribution, about the space-age characters that have stood the test of time, while Zayn And Zayna’s Little Farm, from Safi Ideas, follows a brother and sister on their family farm and aims to introduce children to the themes of mindfulness, sustainability and diversity.


Rounding out the playlist are Modern Day Gladiators (Insight TV), which delves into the vibrant world of eSports; and Thalu, from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, which follows a group of Indigenous children who undertake a journey to save their country from a mysterious dust cloud.


Enjoy the Hot Properties playlist for October 2020!