Please wait...
Please wait...
Please wait...



Programming Profile

Scripted TV strategy takes shape at Incendo


Graham Ludlow of Montreal-based Incendo says the company is expanding into drama and comedy series while at the same time maintaining its core business in TV movies.


Montreal-based producer-distributor Incendo is heading to Content London on the back of a fruitful year in which it has expanded its scripted television strategy and advanced several development projects.


While TV movies have been the company’s bread and butter for two decades, it has made a deliberate move towards scripted series over the past 18 months.


In Canada, the scripted charge has been led by veteran producer Graham Ludlow, who was appointed as production and development executive for Canada around 14 months ago.


Graham Ludlow, Incendo

In the time since, Incendo, which is owned by Quebec-based TVA Group, has expanded its scripted development slate to include hour-long dramas spanning thrillers, sci-fi, procedurals and horror, as well as half-hour comedies.


“My goal was to broaden the development slate and expand the genres we were working in, which we’ve managed to do,” says Ludlow, whose previous credits include Canadian sketch comedy series Baroness von Sketch Show for pubcaster CBC.


Terror Train
Terror Train

Incendo has already made inroads this year, boarding Irish dark thriller Clean Sweep (6×52’) as a coproducer alongside the main producer, Ireland’s ShinAwiL. The project, which is sold internationally by ZDF Studios and stars Charlene McKenna (Peaky Blinders), follows an Irish housewife who kills her former partner-in-crime when he threatens to expose her dark past.


Ludlow says Clean Sweep and other coproducing opportunities have attributed to new and pre-existing conversations about content partnerships in Canada and around the globe.


Much of Incendo’s development slate remains tightly under wraps, but Ludlow says things are “looking positive” for two other projects – a half-hour comedy with talent already attached and an hour-long drama – that it is actively developing. The company is headed to Content London looking for international partners for several projects.


It should be noted that Incendo has previously produced TV series, most notably as a partner on the international coproduction Versailles, but its series involvement has been sporadic. The current push is designed to make Incendo a permanent player in the scripted TV series space, especially at a time when it is also expanding its international distribution aspirations following the hire of former Talpa Global and Vincent TV exec Cynthia Kennedy to lead its distribution operation.


Be Mine, Valentine
Be Mine, Valentine

“We work very closely [with Kennedy’s team] on projects we bring into the mix,” says Ludlow. “In other words, if there were a project that she didn’t think would sell well internationally, we would reconsider it because we want to find projects that have global appeal.”


He adds that Kennedy’s team is a useful resource for connecting Incendo’s production business with potential partners in the international market.


While expanding its scripted series slate is priority number one, Incendo has not taken its eye off the ball when it comes to its TV movie business.


For two decades, Incendo has been among the most prolific producers of TV movies in Canada, churning out between six and 10 each year. Prior to the pandemic, it typically produced those movies for Canadian broadcasters such as Bell Media and Rogers Sports & Media. However, 2022 has seen the company forge a new partnership with Fox-owned, US-based AVoD platform Tubi.


Farmer Seeking Love
Farmer Seeking Love

In September, Incendo and Tubi revealed a partnership to produce a trio of films: Terror Train, a remake of the cult classic horror film of the same name; Marry F*** Kill, an original film written by Ian Carpenter and Aaron Martin; and The Amityville Curse, an adaptation by Dennis Heaton of Hans Holzer’s iconic novel. Under the deal, Incendo is distributing the films internationally, with Tubi taking rights in the US and some other select territories.


As Incendo looks to Content London and beyond, Ludlow says the strategy is to keep expanding the development slate in several directions.


“As 2023 is shaping up, I’m excited about the fact that not only will we be continuing to create horror content, but we’re also expanding into other genres including comedy – and we may even produce a dramedy,” Ludlow says. “Keeping the slate diverse remains our number one goal.”

More programming profiles

  • 11-11-2021

    TVA Group-owned producer-distributor Incendo is expanding into scripted series, having focused mainly on movies for TV since launching in 2001.


    Montreal’s Incendo has built a solid TV movies business over the past two decades, with the company producing between six and 10 annually.


    But while TV movies have formed the bedrock of its production operation, the producer-distributor is targeting an expansion into scripted TV series in 2022, following a restructure of its production division and the appointment of veteran executive Graham Ludlow to oversee its development slate.

  • 07-05-2021

    Over the past two decades, Canada’s Incendo has made the unlikely jump from producing thrillers to romcoms. Execs from the company discuss their playlist for C21’s Content LA On Demand and how they created romance on screen despite coronavirus restrictions.


    Canadian producer and distributor Incendo is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Since its launch two decades ago, the Montreal-based company has specialised in producing and distributing high-quality television programming created and developed for the global market.


    “Television movies have been the backbone of the company,” explains Gavin Reardon, head of international sales and coproductions at Incendo, which became part of Quebecor Media’s TVA Group following a C$19.5m (US$15m) buy-out in 2019. “For a long time, we produced female-led thrillers that, domestically, had a great audience and were successful. But over the past 20 years, interest in thrillers started to wane and we took this as an opportunity to expand our product line.”


    Part of the strategy to diversify the firm’s content offerings includes a growing slate of romantic comedy movies. Indeed, the seven films on the company’s Content LA On Demand playlist are all romcoms and, furthermore, were all produced amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • 16-11-2020

    Canadian producer and distributor Incendo has adopted a flexible strategy that has allowed it continue to deliver the blue-sky, escapist films sought by buyers, and is showcasing its latest via its Content London playlist this week.


    In unprecedented times, it’s important to remain nimble and responsive to any new challenges both the television business and external factors — Covid-19 among them — might pose. That’s why Canadian producer and distributor Incendo is continuing to follow the ad-hoc strategy it has used to successfully navigate the industry over the past few months.


    “Any planning or strategy went out the window on March 17, 2020,” admits Gavin Reardon, Incendo’s head of international sales and coproductions. “We’re in an unprecedented time and are working to be flexible, creative and to take advantage of all opportunities to license our content when they present themselves. As a producer of TV movies as well as drama series, our production team has been amazing and has produced five films during the pandemic. This feel-good, family-friendly content has been what many broadcasters around the world are looking for in these uncertain times.”