International Insider: The Year Ahead; Kim Mi-soo Remembered; Netflix Ratings Bonanza; Turness To BBC News

Afternoon subscribers and a very happy new year. 2022 is only a few days old but we’re back with the biggest stories of the week and some more long-term stuff to look out for. 

The Year Ahead 

Round-ups: As 2021 was drawing to a close, the Deadline international team was beavering away forecasting the storylines that will dominate the 2022 agenda. On what’s been a quiet first week back, Insider can take you through some of the biggest stories we think will be hitting your inboxes over the coming 12 months, along with some of the major projects.

Emerging markets: First up, Tom’s feature fresh off the press, which brought together a variety of experts in the international content space to discuss the extent to which they are expecting Korea’s dominance to continue, following a year in which Netflix’s Squid Game attracted historic viewing figures and led the zeitgeist. The piece also looks to which other Asian territories could emerge and steal the crown in the next 12 months. Go deeper.

The big nine: Unsurprisingly, our Nine Storylines to Dominate piece was led by Covid, coming as Omicron wreaked havoc (and continues to) across the globe. Banijay’s Lucas Green predicted the screen industries will enter “Covid phase three” this year, looking to the mid-and-long term as execs figure out how to alleviate the pressure on tired crew. The outlook for upcoming major film festivals remains precarious at best although Berlin stubbornly insists it will remain in person. And major movie release dates are once again being pushed back, with Joe Wright’s musical drama Cyrano this week joining Operation Mincemeat in this category. Elsewhere, we analyzed the Euro rollout of the next wave of streamers, China’s place in the global content market and considered some of the major deals and studio openings set to bed in. 

Anymore for anymore?: Content is of course king and Andreas’ must read walkthrough of the 30 movies that could light up film festivals this year includes a wealth of riches ranging from Harry Styles’ My Policeman to Iñárritu’s Bardo. On the TV side, I recommended the seven global dramas and five international formats to watch for in 2022, so keep your eyes peeled for Boris Johnson biopics and rat-infested cooking formats. And Tom put together a film festival 2021 highlights gallery and  penned this handy breakdown of the BFI’s top distribution and audience awards in 2021.

Kim Mi-soo Remembered

Disney’s ‘Kiss Six Sense’ paused after tragic death: The sudden death of Korean actress and model Kim Mi-soo sent shockwaves through the local biz this week. Just 29 years old, she was a rising star, having appeared in Disney+ series Snowdrop and Netflix’s Hellbound. No cause of death was given, but the news is the latest sad headline to emerge from a Korean entertainment industry that has lost quite a few of its brightest stars at tragically young ages in recent years. Following the news, local media reported that Disney+ show Kiss Sixth Sense, in which Kim Mi-soo was starring, had paused production to allow cast and crew to absorb the news. Production was understood to have recommenced later in the week. Disney wasn’t commenting.

Adam McKay’s Netflix Rating Bonanza

Don’t Look Back: Adam McKay’s blistering satire Don’t Look Up could be about to become Netflix’s most-watched movie of all time after recording the most hours watched in a week worldwide for the December 27 to January 2 period. The Leonardo Di Caprio/Jennifer Lawrence pic has been met with a mixed critical and audience reception, its discourse occupying many a Twitter echo chamber, but it dominated Netflix’s latest top 10 list after being watched for 152.29M hours globally going by the streamer’s brand new metric. Only Dwayne Johnson’s Red Notice and Sandra Bullock’s Bird Box now stand in Don’t Look Up’s way as it bids for the all time crown. 

Now It’s Your Turness 

Statement hire: Former NBC News International President Deborah Turness was unveiled in the most powerful job in British news this week, taking on the role of BBC News & Current Affairs CEO. Having only just started at ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 news provider ITN, Turness was a surprise choice, but Director General Tim Davie was reportedly desperate to sign her up (he is said to have wooed her at September’s RTS Cambridge event). One ITN colleague told Deadline: “It is fair to say the news came as a big surprise,” but Davie is a fan of looking outside the corporation for the major jobs (Children’s boss Patricia Hidalgo came from WarnerMedia) and Turness is undoubtedly a big beast. She will lead a team of 6,000 journalists, who are experiencing a huge geographical restructure, reeling from losing hundreds of colleagues through a redundancy program and facing pressure from all sides of the political spectrum. Bon chance. Notably, the job title has been changed from Director to CEO, reflective of the BBC’s “ambition to continue to build the BBC’s global news brand and grow its news services.”

Rocky tenure: U.S. readers may be familiar with Turness. She became NBC News’ first female president in 2013 and was also the network’s first NBC News International President, for which she returned to the UK in 2017. Although ratings improved, her NBC tenure was far from easy. She appointed Jamie Horowitz to run flagship Today, for which he lasted just 10 weeks, before becoming mired in the Brian Williams controversy. Williams is the reporter who was forced to admit he had lied about being aboard a military helicopter in Iraq that was forced down by an RPG, and Turness faced some criticism for her handling of the saga. She will face plenty more at the BBC, as many of her predecessors can attest: the role is one of the most high-pressured in British media. 

Blowing The Whistle

Speak Up: Complaints to UK broadcaster Channel 4’s whistleblowing facility Speak Up increased tenfold to 24 last year, with more in 2021 than the previous 36 months combined, according to Deadline’s investigation this week. A Freedom of Information Request revealed 18 of the 24 complaints were either fully or partially upheld. Launched in 2015, Speak Up is the network’s confidential process for people working for production companies to report behaviour such as bullying, fraud or bribery if they feel it isn’t being taken seriously by the indie. In 2021, C4 started forcing producers to carry details of the service on their call sheets and carried out regular spot checks. 


🌶️ Hot one of the week: A24 and New Regency have boarded highly-anticipated Steve McQueen World War Two doc Occupied City.

🌶️ Another one: Netflix has unveiled details of Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s debut TV series for the streamer: an adaptation of popular comic Maiko in Kyoto: From the Maiko House.

🌶️ Another one: A+E Studios/Ananey Studios’ Israeli supernatural thriller The Malevolent Bride has set cast and commenced production.

💺 New chair: Starz Original Programming President Kathryn Busby is to chair UK awards body BAFTA’s new-look North America Board as the LA and NY entities merge.

🏆 Awards latest: The International Film Festival Rotterdam has unveiled the 14 films selected for its flagship Tiger Competition.

🏆 More awards: James Bond trio Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson featured on the UK’s New Year’s Honours List alongside Vanessa Redgrave and Paul Greengrass.

🍿 Box office: Check out Nancy’s analysis of the 2021 worldwide box office, which climbed 78% last year thanks in no small part to Spider Man’s phenomenal end of year performance

🎦  Trailer: ICYMI: The sixth and final series of BBC1’s Peaky Blinders teased this trail on New Year’s Day. Tommy Shelby looks set to go out with a bang.

Tom Grater contributed to this week’s International Insider.

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