How ‘Maniac,’ ‘The Good Doctor,’ ‘Wallander’ Lead Cross Territory Television

Variety | 1/24/2019 | Scott Huver
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The consistent expansion of the U.S. television landscape coupled with an increasing number of emerging platforms has meant the hunger for new content is greater than ever. While streamers such as Netflix often fulfill that appetite by acquiring international series outright, the demand for adaptations of successful formats from series created in other countries is growing exponentially as well.

The burgeoning value and influence of global television “is creating new star writers and directors around the world,” says Paradigm TV literary agent Steve Wohl. “It’s creating opportunity for new voices to get heard.” And to answer the demand, Wohl says a lot of time must be dedicated “out in the world,” identifying “the top production companies … and top distributors in each region.”

Wohl - Paradigm - Bill - Douglass - Properties

For Wohl and Paradigm’s Bill Douglass, who have long specialized in packaging international properties into U.S. series — including “Maniac,” a Norwegian show that inspired Patrick Somerville and Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Netflix 2018 limited series, and “Tell Me a Story,” a Mexican format that Kevin Williamson adapted for CBS All Access — the key to a successful adaptation lies in the team they package to bring the format to life in the United States.

“You would look at what broadcasters you believe the property fits in terms of demographic or creative, then begin to look at the studio that controls that broadcaster, then begin to look at the [production] companies, or overall deals that they have with producers and writers, and then it begins to come into focus, as to who the producers are going to be submitting to each individual studio,” Douglass says of their “reverse engineering” strategy.

Case - Maniac - Douglass - Series - Logline

In the case of “Maniac,” Douglass says they gave the original series the logline of “‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ for television.” Boiling the idea down to something recognizable, they were...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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