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Programming Profile

Pixcom heads to Content London with drama trio


Montreal-based Pixcom is beefing up its scripted content pipeline, president Nicola Merola tells C21, as it prepares for its trip to Content London later this month.


Producer Pixcom has a catalogue of both French- and English-language productions across a variety of genres in both scripted and unscripted. The company used to distribute only its English-language projects internationally, but four years ago started exporting from its French-language slate too, mostly into Europe but also into the US.


In light of this, the three series on the Montreal-based company’s playlist for C21’s Digital Screenings this week are all from its French-language slate and are all dramas, which are more in demand now than ever before, according to president Nicola Merola.


Nicola Merola, Pixcom

“In Quebec, there has been lots of greenlighting over the past year for different type of series, but in particular for scripted series,” he says. “Right now, at Pixcom we have nine scripted series in production, mainly in French but also in English.”


The first series on Pixcom’s playlist is Audrey est Revenue (Audrey’s Back), a 10×30’ dramedy about a woman who wakes up from a 16-year coma at the age of 33. In addition to relearning to eat, walk and speak, she must learn to cope with the fact that she is now living in 2020. The series launches on Québecor Média-owned streaming platform Club Illico this month.


The second series is Lac Noir (Dark Lake), an 8×60’ suspense drama that follows a city cop who moves with her teenage son to a seemingly serene and secluded village in the Laurentian forest. However, she’s soon faced with strange and threatening things that she needs to resolve. Described as a combination of action, romance and mystery, Lac Noir will launch on Club Illico at the start of the new year.


Audrey's Back (Audrey est revenue)
Audrey’s Back (Audrey est revenue)

The third series on Pixcom’s playlist is Nuit Blanche (White Night), a 12×60’ drama described as a whodunnit family saga. The series spans two timeframes – 1970 and 2021 – and centres on the premature death of a successful businesswoman, which sends shockwaves through her family and friends. Nuit Blanche, created by screenwriter Julie Hivon (Amber Alert), is currently airing on Canadian pubcaster CBC/Radio-Canada.


“These are three very different shows that reflect what Pixcom is doing today in drama, from dramedies to cop shows to thrillers and darker series. We chose those three because we feel they have the potential to sell well all over the world,” Merola says.


He’s not alone in thinking that. Nuit Blanche was picked up by ZDF Enterprises, the distribution arm of German public broadcaster ZDF, for distribution outside of Canada. The company also shops another Pixcom drama, psychological thriller series Victor Lessard (30×60’), which the Montreal company produced for Club Illico, AddikTV and TVA. Global Screen, another German company, is distributing Pixcom’s crime drama Amber Alert (10×60’), a TVA series that follows the kidnapping of an autistic boy.


Dark Lake (Lac-Noir)
Dark Lake (Lac-Noir)

With Nuit Blanche already launched internationally, Pixcom is currently looking for an international distributor to take the rights outside of Canada for Dark Lake and Audrey’s Back.


“The three series are suitable for both streaming platforms and linear channels,” Merola adds. “They can be enjoyed week after week on a cable or terrestrial network but they can also be enjoyed altogether in two evenings! We built them like that; there’s a huge tease at the end of every episode, and teases within each hour, to make sure people will come back after the commercial breaks.”


Beyond the three shows in its playlist, Merola says Pixcom is in development on an array of other dramas across a range of genres.


White Night (Nuit blanche)
White Night (Nuit blanche)

“We have a lot of series in development – thrillers, some based on books, others based on real-life experiences and events, as well as comedies and dramedies. We are developing these shows with local networks, English Canadian networks/platforms and also international partners. We have a wide variety of projects. We work with many talented writers from French and English Canada and our door is always open to new projects or ideas.


“If we fall in love with a story, we go out and we fight for it. Whether we do it in English or in French, people need IPs, people need stories and we have many of those to tell.”

More programming profiles

  • 16-11-2022

    Nicola Merola of Dark Lake and Audrey’s Back prodco Pixcom says Quebec series are hot but have yet to reach their full potential. He will be at Content London with two new scripted projects he hopes will be Pixcom’s next hits.


    Montreal production company Pixcom is riding a wave of momentum after garnering several international awards and high-profile deals for its new drama Audrey est Revenue (aka Audrey’s Back) and continuing to rack up sales for its murder mystery drama La Faille (The Wall).


    The former, about a woman who wakes up from a 16-year coma at the age of 33, won the Grand Prize at France’s Canneseries television festival in April and has since been sold to France’s Canal+ and Italian pubcaster Rai, with additional deals being negotiated by international distributor Beta Film.

  • 12-06-2020

    Montreal’s Pixcom is bringing its local Quebec hits to the international marketplace, with 10 programmes on offer via its suite on the C21 Digital Screenings platform.


    Quebec-based production company Pixcom has 10 series in its C21 Screenings playlist, comprising six dramas and four factual shows, each of which was selected for their international appeal.


    According to Ginette Viens, Pixcom’s VP of international production, the prodco’s “first focus” is to develop projects that not only become local successes but also have global potential. One such example is La Faille, known as The Wall: Cover Your Tracks in English, a drama about a murder that takes place in a small mining town.