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Wayne Garvie of Sony called on the European film industry to follow its US example and turn television shows into franchises.

“Once the Americans have a successful series, they do something that we Europeans seem unable to do – they turn it into a franchise,” said the head of The crown The outfit’s international productions said this morning.

Referring to his home country of Britain, Garvie said the industry there was “brilliant at creating unscripted franchises but really poor in drama,” and hinted that Doctor Who, The work, co-produced by Sony-owned Bad Wolf, is “the only example I can think of.” In the US, however, he pointed to Sony franchises such as Cobra Kai, Breaking Bad And The young.

“It’s not easy, of course, and you have to start with initial successes, but once we have those, why don’t we think more about how to expand this world?” Garvie said at the AVPSummit in southern Italy. “The only challenge is our own creativity. Our television (in Europe) is very popular, but from a business point of view, our next step is to better exploit our creations for sustainable profitability.”

He criticised European television producers for “producing six seasons and then letting (a series) die”. “You only have so much time in your career to build something, so if you’re successful, why not build on it?” he added.

Franchises “don’t have to have the biggest budget or include a lot of action,” Garvie continued, speaking of Netflix’s sex education, also produced by an independent Sony producer, and is “the one show that producers and viewers around the world want to talk to me about.”

Addressing the Italian audience, he said the country’s producers were “not brave enough”. He urged the industry to “be creative entrepreneurs, be present and make contacts, because that is the only way to build these stories and global partnerships.” “Today there are more ways to sell a drama than ever before in your history,” he added.

Although budgets have fallen recently, Garvie challenges the notion that the golden age of television is over, pointing out that drama production is “at the heart of every free-to-air broadcaster” and that there are “a dozen local platforms commissioning drama from every country in the world”.

“The days of television may be over, but ‘plateau television’ is better than anything we have ever known,” he added.

He cited “rich Italian stories” that are being retold in some form by Americans and Brits, such as Netflix’s The Decameron, which released the trailer yesterday, and the upcoming adaptation of The leopard.

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