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”.
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 shows, dramas and comedies in Spanish. He’s similarly bullish about the new multiyear production partnership with Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.
Among Shine’s formats, he highlighted Tabatha Takes Over, fronted by Queensland-born Tabatha Coffey, which launches its sixth season on Bravo next month; Oxygen’s The Face, which gives young models a shot at a contract and to be mentored by Naomi Campbell and others; and The Biggest Loser, whose Australian version debuts on Network Ten next Sunday.