Get in quick, Insiders. It’s getting colder out there. Jesse Whittock here with a roundup of this week’s top news and analysis coming to you from across Europe.
Queen Elizabeth has been laid to rest
The world says goodbye: Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, the period of mourning that followed and the thousands of stories about the never-ending queue to see her lie in state in central London, the monarch’s funeral was held on Monday. Like Joe Biden, To kill EveSandra Oh and even Bear Grylls joined the royal family to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-serving monarch. Caroline Frost was on hand to keep you informed. After the service in Westminster Abbey, the funeral procession stretched more than a mile in length. When the queen was finally laid to rest in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, the world saw for the first time the symbolic breaking of the wand of office on television – a moment that represented the end of her era and the beginning of the reign of King Charles III. .
Procession in numbers: Max dug into the viewing figures and found that 37.5 million watched the funeral during the day, with 27 million lining up for the procession – more than those who watched Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. In the UK, most watched on BBC One, which The public service broadcasters once again proved their worth at a time when national unity was required. With new Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan set to review the government’s plan to scrap the BBC’s license fee and the sale of Channel 4 to private hands beginning to sound, PSBs will feel their work this week was a triumph, albeit in solemn circumstances . However, the events were no cash cow for Britain’s commercial broadcasters, as they all dropped commercials during the televised events as a mark of respect. Find our full coverage here and here.
TF1 & M6 Union collapses
Do not braid: Signs that French broadcasters TF1 and M6’s planned merger was on the rocks began when TF1 chief executive Gilles Pelisson said the “dream” was not shared by competition authorities back in July. That prophecy came true this week when it emerged that the deal had collapsed, with French competition authorities apparently unconvinced that a pairing would not significantly affect the local TV advertising market. A joint statement from TF1 and M6 said the French competition authority would have been satisfied with the sale of only one of the broadcasters’ channels – and there was never a realistic chance of that happening. M6 owner Bertelsmann, whose chief executive Thomas Rabe is pictured, responded by putting the M6 up for sale, with Banijay owner Stéphane Courbit, Vivendi, Mediawan and MediaForEurope all linked with potential bids. TF1 has pushed for a succession plan, with French media veteran Rodolphe Belmer to replace Pelisson as CEO, with the latter moving upstairs to parent company Bouygues Group. For now though, M6 and TF1 have to lick their wounds as they wish each other ‘adieu’ and ‘good luck’.
Creative investors are getting sharp in San Sebastian
‘Venice sold its soul’: Over to Zac Ntim with this exclusive report from Spain — As always, San Sebastian boasted a bumper lineup of exciting titles such as Sebastián Lelios The wonderstarring Florence Pugh, and the recently re-edited version by Alexander Gonzalez Iñarritus Bardo, Fake chronicle about a handful of truths. But on the ground, all eyes were on the festival’s inaugural Creative Investors’ Conference, organized with CAA Media Finance. The conference was held at the impressive Tabakalera Cultural Arts Center and featured a series of keynotes by industry stalwarts. The conference’s hottest session featured a discussion between Wild Bunch co-founder Vincent Maraval and CAA Media Finance’s Roeg Sutherland. During the lengthy session, the pair discussed the current state of the industry, with Maraval giving his take on Netflix and its relationship with the Cannes and Venice film festivals. He called it a “mistake” and claimed that “the first four days of Venice look like the Netflix Film Festival – Ted Sarandos is on the red carpet welcoming people. I think Venice sold its soul to Netflix.” Overall, the sessions were long but dynamic and often spawned innovative discussions about the issues hitting the film industry hard today. Read on.
Coherent meaning: Elsewhere, Deadline sat down with Domingo Corral, Director of Original Fiction at Movistar Plus+, Spain’s largest pay TV/SVOD operator. This year, the Telefonica-owned streamer had two original TV series and a feature film screening in San Sebastian. Corral talked about the company’s production strategy and how he competes with global streamers like Netflix and Disney+. Go deeper.
Counting the cost of living
Helping hands required: Britain, it’s fair to say, is facing the worst cost of living in recent memory, with interest rates soaring as wages stagnate. That translates to the TV production sector, where costs have risen – creatives are understandably concerned about making ends meet and are looking for reassurance. My international TV partner-in-crime Max decided to press the British broadcasters on what they are doing to help after Pact’s CEO John McVay told them to be “sympathetic.” So what did Max find? Well, Channel 4 is reviewing its commissioning rates and has increased its content budget by more than £50M ($56M), while ITV and Paramount-owned Channel 5 said they were working closely with their suppliers to ensure funding was sufficient. The BBC would not go on the record, but appears to subscribe to a flexible cost model, which sits alongside its small indie and production management funds. More.
Navigate the ‘Avatar’ re-release
The Way of the Observers: Disney began the global re-release of the original Avatar this week James Cameron is launching the mega-bucks spinner in several European countries, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Australia among others. The results were pretty good, as Nancy Tartaglione said: In France, the 4k high dynamic range version was #1, bringing in $513,000, and also took decent money in Saudi and Korea. Number one positions were achieved in Belgium and the Philippines as the film is set to play on 8,000 offshore screens and in North America this month. How much of this was fueled by the reveal footage from the long-gestating sequel Avatar: The Way of Water appears at the end of the film, can’t be known, but it certainly won’t have hurt. The Way of the Water will begin rolling out on December 14th and will land in North America two days later. More on the return to Pandora here.
RIP Hilary Mantel: The much-loved writer behind the BBC period drama Hall of wolves has passed away at the age of 70, it emerged this morning. The author of several historical fiction books, she was made a Dame in 2014 for her contributions to literature and is the only woman to win the Booker Prize twice. She will be sadly missed.
🌶️ Hot One: CAA scored a coup by signing hotshot director SS Rajamouli, whose box office RRR (Rise Roar Revolt) has been India’s biggest hit of the year. Andreas cracked this one.
🌶️ Another one: Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz) and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) is set to reteam for the comedy thriller Starveafter they starred together in Fighting with my family.
🌶️ Very spicy: Alice Diop’s hotly tipped French feature Saint-Omer secured distribution in several territories for Wild Bunch International. Melanie had the exclusive.
🌶️ More fire: Eight-figure action here as Open Road Films buys US rights to the Gerard Butler thriller Kandahar. Andreas with this one.
👩🏻💼 New job: Vice Studios boss Kate Ward heads to BBC Studios to lead factual content.
🛫 Mipcom-bound: Keshet International picks up rights to ambitious Portuguese period drama Free CubaI revealed on Tuesday.
❌ Rejected: Bulgaria’s Oscar submission Motheras Deadline TV editor-in-chief Nellie Andreeva wrote this week.
✅ Accepted: Iceland’s post Beautiful creaturesIndian Last movie show and Israel’s Cinema Sabaya.
Zachary Ntim contributed to this week’s Insider.