THE CLEANERS An Anti-Case Study from Berlin: A $1.3 Mn Investigative Documentary Premieres at Sundance. Faces Deep Deficit

THE CLEANERS ticked all the boxes. Despite Sundance selection and sales to prestigious broadcasters worldwide, the producers are digging out from a deep deficit. The business model for investigative documentaries has always been risky. It is now under siege… and needs new solutions. That’s the message presented by Christian Beetz, co-CEO of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion …

Program Development & Pitching Trends. Podcast with Michael Hoff

Welcome to my second podcast on the business of the unscripted business. My Guest: Michael Hoff leads Hoff Productions, successfully delivering mainly male-targeted series and specials to dozens of networks for 25 years. In my recent popular post, Michael spelled out the evolving high-stakes world of program development. The Topic: Today’s Pitching Process. Network development execs are …


LE JAPON VU DU CIEL au MIPDoc. Étude du d’une co-production 4K couronnée de succès.

Une co-production à 1,5 million d’Euros entre la NHK, le diffuseur publique japonais et le français Gédéon Programmes a été un grand succès au MIPDoc 2018. La série : LE JAPON VU DU CIEL. Les producteurs exécutifs Shin Yasuda et Nicolas Deschamps ont partagé leur processus de co-production lors de mon panel juste après l’avant-première mondiale. …

JAPAN FROM ABOVE at MIPDoc. Case Study of a Successful 4K Co-production

A 1.5 million Euros co-production between Japan’s public broadcaster NHK and France’s Gedeon Programmes was a highlight of MIPDoc 2018. The series: JAPAN FROM ABOVE. Executive Producers Shin Yasuda and Nicolas Deschamps shared their co-production process in my panel after the World-premiere screening. We expanded the key points into an informative Case Study covering a …

MLK: The Assassination Tapes: Winning Awards by Overcoming the Challenges of Working with the Archive

To mark today’s 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, I have republished our coverage of the Peabody Award-winning documentary “MLK: The Assassination Tapes.”  Originally published July 1, 2013. David Royle, EVP Programming & Production, Smithsonian Networks, and Tom Jennings, Executive Producer & Founder, 1895 Films explored the development and commissioning of their multiple-award-winning documentary at MIPDoc 2013. …

PBS History Programming: Audience & Pipeline. Top 5

This post continues my coverage of the PBS audience for History and Science for delegates attending WCSFP Congress in San Francisco. The focus here is on the strands American Experience, American Masters and Secrets of the Dead. Also profiled are the highest-rated PBS History specials and limited series outside the strands. Next post: The Vietnam War. …