Amazon’s Entry into Italy Could Prompt Quantum Leap for Local Industry

Variety | 1/29/2020 | Nick Vivarelli
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Amazon Studios’ official move into Italy last week with a robust slate of both scripted and unscripted shows is shaking up the local industry and may give the country a welcome boost in terms of raising its profile on the global production map, where Italian TV output for global viewing lags behind nearby territories.

The streamer, being an arm of a global retailing powerhouse, is pushing into Europe at its own pace and with a more multi-genre approach than its competitors, in particular compared with Netflix, a standalone service. During a Jan. 23 presentation in Rome, Amazon announced four new Italian originals, comprising “Bang Bang Baby,” a high-concept Milan-set mob dramedy with a mostly female cast, “Vita da Carlo,” a comedy series centered around popular local star Carlo Verdone, and an unscripted food travelogue titled “Dinner Club.”

Amazon - Projects - Component - Thriller - Multi-series

Previously Amazon had announced other Italian projects, most notably the Italian component of global thriller multi-series “Citadel,” being produced by former ABC Studios president Patrick Moran, on which Amazon is working in Italy with Rome-based Cattleya, the ITV-owned shingle behind “Gomorrah,” which has been exported widely.

“The show [‘Citadel’] we are producing with Cattleya will be totally standalone,” Amazon’s director of European originals, Georgia Brown, told Variety. But, she added, “What you’ll see is the characters in our Italian show will cross over into other territories and have cameos.” She noted that the ambitious multi-series show’s world “becomes very intertwined, if you want it to.” Anthony and Joe Russo (“Avengers”) are directing the “Citadel” show’s “mothership” U.S. series toplining Priyaka Chopra Jonas (“Quantico”) and Richard Madden.

Italy - Narrative - Heft - Scope

Italy being literally spun into a global narrative of this heft and scope is certainly a positive.

However producer Lorenzo Mieli, who heads Fremantle’s The Apartment – which is making “Bang Bang Baby” – points out the parallel importance of Amazon...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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