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At Variety’s first European TV Summit on Thursday, held at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel, headline speakers Ricky Gervais, the creator of global successes including “The Office” and “Afterlife,” and Sharon Horgan, the force behind hit comedies “Catastrophe” and “Divorce,” shared their insights, alongside a host of industry leaders. Here are some of the takeaways.
Gervais, who revealed that he has a first-look deal with Netflix, said he bases his shows on personal experience and strives for honesty. “As I get older, I don’t want to try to be bigger or richer or win more awards. I just want to go: Is this the most honest I have ever been? That is what drives me now,” he said. Gareth Neame, executive producer of “Downton Abbey,” said something similar: “You should be making a show for yourself; you have to love it.”
Advantages - Production - Companies - Writers - Performers
One of the advantages of having their own production companies for writers and performers such as Gervais and Horgan is to be involved in all aspects of production, including casting and the selection of behind-the-camera talent. Gervais, for example, said he casts key roles as he writes the script, while Horgan mentioned that her initial list of potential directors is always women only. Horgan’s company, Merman, is deliberately female-centered, and gets “more interesting stories because of it.”
CHAMPIONING ORIGINAL SERIES
Gary - Davey - Wednesday - Position - CEO
Gary Davey, who on Wednesday segued to the newly created position of CEO of Sky Studios at pan-European pay-TV company Sky, said that original series such as HBO-Sky’s “Chernobyl” have become a key reason for customers to continue to subscribe to the platform. He said that, last year, 18 of the top 20 series across the Sky Group were originals. Sergio Osle, president at Spanish pay-TV company Movistar Plus, said that the ratings for five or six of his recent original series were...
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