International co-productions are all the rage right now, and Europe’s top players are looking to the U.S.
So it was no surprise when Sky Studios new UK drama chief Meghan Lyvers took the time to point to the impact an American partner can have on international projects during a session at MIA Market in Rome.
With Comcast cousin Peacock in the same family, Sky Studios has significant opportunities to order programs of scale and impact, said Lyvers, noting that the U.S. streamer was a co-pro partner on upcoming drama adaptation The Tattooist of Auschwitz. “It’s an incredibly ambitious story and a complicated shoot,” she said. “We’re excited about the ambition of that story. We’ve got a high profile cast that we’re going to be announcing soon.”
Questioned about how Sky Studios will work with HBO going forwards, amid increasing speculation Sky’s UK output deal with the Succession network will end in 2025 when the current deal lapses, Lyvers was circumspect, noting that deal discussion was “above the pay grade” of her and fellow panellists Sonia Rovai, Senior Director of Scripted Production at Sky Italia, and Tobias Rosen, who begins as Vice President of Sky Studios Deutschland on Monday.
However, she did talk up the value of HBO as a co-production partner on shows such as Chernobyl and pointed to the importance of other U.S. outlets such as AMC, which is a co-producer on Gangs of London.
“[HBO] are really organic co-producers to begin with because we have a lot of common ground in terms of the storytelling, the quality and the taste,” she said. “It’s a very synergistic, fluid and organic relationship so we will continue to talk with them. We are already speaking regularly about co-productions and also have co-productions with other partners in the WBD family, with TNT taking on The Lazarus Project.
“We’re always looking for strong advocates of premium international storytelling in the U.S. It’s important that continues to be an interest for this business.”
It was one of the International community’s first opportunities to hear from Lyvers in her new role since joining from CBS Studios over the summer.
She noted Sky Studios had the advantage of being able to commission projects and make them in house, such as with The Rising, with NBCUniversal then selling them internationally; acquire shows for the European countries Sky operates in; or co-produce international. “Ice have to be entrepreneurial. Costs are rising and the demand for quality is rising, so we have to be flexible and work out best partners for those premium stories whether that’s in the UK, Germany or Italy,” added Lyvers.
Rovai, who has been with Sky Italia since its inception in 2006, noted how the creation of Sky Studios in 2019 had led to a doubling of production in the country.
She said the “beautiful thing” about her time with Sky is that 35 of the 70 projects she has worked on were produced in the last three years.
The post Sky Studios Europe Bosses Talk Up Co-Productions With Big U.S. Players — MIA Market appeared first on Deadline.