“I didn’t want to do the serial-killer-of-the-year story. I can’t compete with the genre that’s out there,” The Bridge executive producer Elwood Reid said today at TCA about his primary objective for Season 2 of the FX thriller.
“If I’m going to tell a story about the U.S.-Mexican border, one which these characters warranted, I couldn’t tell that story while they were tracking a serial killer,” said the EP. Departing Bridge EP Meredith Stiehm, who developed the series with Reid before returning to Homeland, also shared the same second-season vision.
“Meredith was right there with me in wanting to break the old mode of the show,” said Reid, “We looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s get these figures up on the bridge and finish this part of the story.’” Read More »
Matthew Strauss isn’t a household name in Hollywood yet. But he should be, and possibly will be soon. As Comcast Cable’s GM of Video Services, Strauss oversees the cable colossus’ Xfinity cloud-based X1 platform, video on demand, TV Everywhere, and — starting last year — sales of digitally downloadable movies and TV shows (known as Electronic Sell Through). In other words, he leads the cable industry’s counter-offensive as digital services led by Netflix and ad-zapping DVRs make inroads with pay TV consumers.
Studios and networks are taking notice, and striking deals with Strauss that push the boundaries of technology, and traditional business practices. For example, Comcast and FX have just begun to let VOD customers watch episodes of The Bridge a week before they appear on the channel itself. Deadline caught up with Strauss to find out the latest about that experiment and others that could reshape the medium. Here are his thoughts, edited for length and clarity.
DEADLINE: VOD has been one of Comcast’s top initiatives. Where do things stand?
STRAUSS: I have a long history with VOD. I’ve been working on this for almost 13 years now. About 70% of our digital subscribers use on demand every single month, and by the end of this year we’ll have 200,000 hours of on-demand content available. We surpassed our 30 billionth program viewed on demand last year. So this is something that has gone from almost an infancy, novelty kind of product and now is deeply entrenched. For the first time we now have the top 100 rated Nielsen shows … Read More »
Under the exclusive deal with Shine International, all episodes of the first season of FX‘s The Bridge will be available on Hulu Plus beginning today. Limited promotional episodes also will be available on Hulu.com. Starring Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger, the present-day crime thriller explores tensions on the US-Mexico border. Ted Levine, Annabeth Gish and Thomas M. Wright co-star. The Bridge is a co-production of Shine America and FX Prods. It was adapted for American television from the international hit series Bron/Broen by executive producers Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid. Shine America’s Carolyn G. Bernstein and Filmlance’s Lars Blomgren also exec produce. Season two of The Bridge premieres on FX July 9.
FX formally announced today that its freshman cross-border drama The Bridge will be coming back for another season. The 13-episodes of the not unexpected second season will premiere next summer, the network says. Season 1 of the U.S./Mexico crime show wraps up on October 2. “We’ve been blown away by the compelling performances of Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger and the writing of Meredith Stiehm, Elwood Reid and their team, and are thrilled to be able to continue this journey for another season,” said Eric Schrier, President of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions in a statement today. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Rich Ross, Carolyn Bernstein and everyone at Shine America.” Also today, Fox International Channels, which rolled out Season 1 around the world this summer, picked up the exclusive pay-TV rights for Season 2 in 125 countries.
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Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
As its 13 first-season episodes are wrapping production, executive producers of FX’s The Bridge assured today’s TCA crowd that the Texas-U.S. bordertown crime drama will not fall into the formula of solving one crime per season. The murder mystery in Season 1 will wrap up “even before the end of the season,” said executive producer Elwood Reid, who with EP Meredith Stiehm developed the series based on the Danish/Swedish series Bron. Of the second season, Reid said: “There won’t be one big crime. We are not going to have the killer of the season every year.” Stiehm said that, for the first season, the producers had the 10 episodes of Bron to use as a road map but “then we got to a place where there was no guide…we have not decided which path we start on yet.” Read More »
FX‘s newest original drama series The Bridge will debut on Wednesday, July 10 at 10 PM. Based on the European series Bron, which was set on the border of Denmark and Sweden, The Bridge is a crime thriller exploring the tensions on the U.S.-Mexico border. When an American judge known for her anti-immigration views is found dead on the bridge connecting El Paso and Juarez, Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) from El Paso PD must work with her Mexican counterpart from Chihuahua State Police, Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir), to catch a serial killer operating on both sides of the border. The case quickly pulls them into a string of murders on the border, a scene already consumed by illegal immigration, drug trafficking, violence and prostitution. Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid adapted The Bridge for American television, with Shine America producing.
Spanish-language U.S. network MundoFox will announce 20 new original programs as part of its summer and fall schedules today during Fox Hispanic Media’s upfont presentation in NY. Among the highlights are the Spanish-language version of The X Factor, El Factor X, which will launch in the summer; Café Con Aroma De Mujer, a remake of the Colombian hit from Ugly Betty‘s original Betty La Fea creator Fernando Gaitán; FX’s series The Bridge starring Demian Bichir, part of the network’s weekend schedule; and the boxing docu-drama The Golden Boys from executive producers Mario Lopez and Oscar de la Hoya. Here’s the network’s full list of shows and specials: Read More »
In what will be the first fully-subtitled drama to air on the UK’s Channel 4 in 20 years, the net has acquired premiere broadcast rights to French supernatural series Les Revenants. Zodiak is handling international sales on the thriller that was produced by Haut et Court for Canal Plus and originally aired to record numbers last fall. The show, re-titled Rebound in the UK, centers on a group of people in a small Alpine village who find themselves in a state of confusion, trying to return to their homes. What they don’t yet know is that they’ve been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. Fabrice Gobert created the show based on the 2004 feature Les Revenants by Robin Campillo. Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Celine Sallette, Frederic Pierrot, Samir Guesmi and Guillaume Gouix star.
The UK is no stranger to subtitled fare – BBC Four airs such imported shows as Sweden’s Wallander, Denmark’s Borgen and Italy’s Inspector Montalbano. But the Rebound deal marks the second time in recent months that there’s been cross-Channel collaboration on a series. Sky Atlantic and Canal Plus started shooting last month on The Tunnel, the 10-part bilingual English-French adaptation of Scandinavian cop series The Bridge. Read More »
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
The Bridge, the Shine America-FX Prods. co-produced adaptation of the Scandinavian crime drama series Bron, represents what Rich Ross described as “a perfect example” of the Fox units’ concerted push into scripted fare. The Shine America CEO made his remarks Thursday local time during his keynote at the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association conference in Sydney. Ross showed a two-minute clip of the remake, Shine’s first U.S. drama series, which stars Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger and is set to debut on FX in July and internationally on Fox International Channels. Ross called The Bridge an ideal mating of “international talent with terrific content formatted from another territory”.
Related: Shine America Names Leslie Belzberg SVP Scripted Production
Installed at Shine America two months ago, the former Walt Disney Studios chairman said, “Setting our sights on scripted programming seemed a natural path” because of the “explosion in the world of scripted TV over the last five years, led by one-hour dramas. In the U.S. there are 29 different buyers of drama programming versus just 16 in 2007. And 45% more dramas are being commissioned in the U.S. versus 5 years ago.”
Ross also is expecting big things from recently launched Shine Hispanic & Latin America headed by Cristina Palacio. Its mandate is to produce scripted and unscripted fare including telenovelas, game … Read More »
Leslie Belzberg will oversee day-to-day scripted production for the studio, including production oversight for the upcoming drama series The Bridge, which is slated to launch this summer on FX. Her appointment was announced today by Carolyn Bernstein, EVP, Scripted Programming, Shine America. Belzberg most recently produced Scorpion King: Rise Of The Dead and served as executive producer on the film Crazy Heart. She also co-created St. Clare Entertainment with director John Landis, which produced HBO’s Dream On, USA Network’s Weird Science, Fox’s Sliders, Disney’s Honey I Shrunk The Kids and the Action Adventure Network’s The Lost World.
FX has handed out a 13-episode order to The Bridge, its drama pilot from writers Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid starring Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir. Filming on the series, co-produced by Shine America and FX Prods, begins in April for a July premiere. It marks Shine’s first major U.S. scripted series since the 2008 acquisition of Reveille.
Based on the Danish/Swedish series Bron, which was set on the border of Denmark and Sweden, The Bridge is set on the border between El Paso and Juarez. It centers on two detectives — one from the U.S., Detective Sonya Cross (Kruger), and one from Mexico, Marco Ruiz (Bichir) — who must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Homeland writer/executive producer and Cold Case creator Stiehm and novelist and TV writer-producer Reid wrote the adaptation, which the two executive produce with Shine America’s Carolyn G. Bernstein and Lars Blomgren of Shine Group’s Filmlance, which co-produced the original series with Denmark’s Nimbus Film. The Bridge co-stars Ted Levine, Annabeth Gish, and Thomas M. Wright; Matthew Lillard guest starred in the pilot directed by Gerardo Naranjo (Miss Bala). Read More »
Scandinavian format The Bridge is getting another adaptation, only this time it’s called The Tunnel. In what’s being billed as the first-ever bilingual broadcast series for the UK and France, Sky Atlantic HD and Canal Plus are co-producing the 10-part drama from Kudos Film and TV and Shine France Films in association with Filmlance. FX recently shot a pilot starring Demian Béchir and Diane Kruger for its own U.S. version of the Hans Rosenfeldt-created show which moved the action from the Danish-Swedish border to the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. For The Tunnel, Ben Richards (Spooks, Outcasts, Party Animals) will lead an Anglo-French writing team to shift the story to the area where the UK meets France. Set primarily in Folkestone and Calais, the series seees detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann called to investigate the death of a French politician on behalf of their respective countries. When a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, they are forced into an uneasy partnership as they seek out a politically-motivated serial killer who draws them into his own personal agenda. Production will begin later this month for broadcast later this year. Exec producers are Anne Mensah for Sky, Fabrice De La Patellière for Canal Plus, Jane Featherstone, Karen Wilson, Manda Levin … Read More »
The cast of FX’s drama pilot The Bridge will now boast not one but two Oscar nominated actors. Catalina Sandino Moreno has joined the Shine America-produced project, an adaptation of a Scandinavian format. The Bridge centers on two detectives from the U.S. and Mexico — El Paso Police Homicide Detective Sonya North (Diane Kruger) and Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir) — who must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Moreno, repped by UTA and Principal Entertainment NY, will play Marco’s second wife who is at home to tend to the kids while Marco works long hours. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Lost alum Ken Leung and Jeananne Goossen (Alcatraz) are set to co-star opposite Eoin Macken and Freddy Rodriguez in the hourlong NBC pilot After Hours. The Sony TV project revolves around the graveyard shift in the ER at San Antonio Medical Center. Leung (Rush Hour) will play Topher, a flip-flops and shorts-wearing Emergency Room doctor who was previously a surgeon on the battlefield, where he became hardened and jaded. Goossen, repped by Greene & Associates and Magnolia Entertainment, will play a beautiful and stylish resident at the hospital. Leung also is filming arcs on NBC’s Deception, CBS’ Person Of Interest and ABC’s Zero Hour.
Emily Rios (Breaking Bad) has been added to the cast of FX drama pilot The Bridge. An adaptation of a Scandinavian format, The Bridge centers on two detectives from the U.S. and Mexico — El Paso Police Homicide Detective Sonya North (Diane Kruger) and Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir) — who must work together to hunt down a serial killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Rios, repped by Domain and Kass Management, will play the recurring role of Adrianna Perez, a young, diligent reporter who works at the El Paso Times. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: It looks like Fox brass are determined to get an aircraft carrier drama on the air. Last season, the network put in development The Bridge, from writer Taylor Elmore (Justified), producer Mark Johnson and Sony Pictures TV. The project, described as a high-octane soap with a touch of Upstairs, Downstairs set on a Navy aircraft carrier, didn’t go to pilot but the network kept it in contention, rolling in to this season. Now Justified executive producers Graham Yost and Michael Dinner have boarded the drama to help with the rewrite, giving it additional clout. Both will executive produce, with Dinner also attached to direct. Elmore is still the writer, with Johnson and his Gran Via still attached, along with Sony TV.
Meanwhile, in August, Fox bought another drama from high-profile auspices with a similar setting, giving a script commitment with penalty to a project from House executive producers Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner and 20th Century Fox TV. Set on a naval aircraft carrier, the untitled show also has an upstairs/downstairs dynamic: the “downstairs” is filled with 18- to 20-year-olds, their coming-of-age stories heightened by the life-and-death nature of their everyday jobs; the “upstairs” is anchored by a female fighter pilot and her season-long quest to solve a murder that occurs onboard. Read More »