Playtime Inks Raft of Deals on TV Series ‘Trauma,’ ‘Mental,’ ‘Helvetica’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Elsa Keslassy

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Playtime, the well-established European film and TV group based in Paris, has scored a flurry of deals on three anticipated international series, “Trauma,” “Mental” and “Helvetica,” as well as on the documentary “Voulez-vous rire avec moi ce soir.”

Produced by Empreinte Digitale (“Missions”), “Voulez-vous rire avec moi ce soir” was picked up by Netflix in French Speaking Europe, Africa, UK, Australia, US and Canada. The series, which portrays top comedians around the world, was directed by Yacine Belhousse and premiered on the local cable channel Comedie Plus.

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A popular French series, “Trauma” was acquired by Walter Presents for the U.S. and for the U.K. where it will air on Channel 4’s platform All4 and digital channel More4.

“Trauma is a superb French series: a dark, twisted psychological thriller with plenty of cliffhangers and a unique, compelling premise which makes it a perfect addition to the Walter Presents collection,” said Walter Iuzzolino, co-founder and curator of Walter Presents. “The boundaries of good and evil are blurred as the main protagonist tries to make sense of his involvement in the case.”

“Trauma” was produced by Empreinte Digitale for the NBCUniversal International Networks’ 13th Street Channel in France. The show follows Adam, an admired cop who suffers from amnesia after surviving a gunshot and is chasing down a serial killer.

Besides 13th Street in France, “Trauma” has aired on other channels from the NBCUniversal International Networks, including Calle 13 in Spain and 13 Ulica in Poland, and will next air on 13th Street in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The show was also picked up by Proximus in Belgium.

Meanwhile, “Mental,” the award-winning series whose second season is currently in pre-production, was acquired in Germany for the platform Sooner.de and just launched on Proximus in Belgium.

“Mental” won best half-hour series at La Rochelle Fiction Festival in 2018. Produced by Lincoln TV (“Pigalle La Nuit”) for OCS, “Mental” is a drama comedy about Sheila, a 20-something intern in psychiatry who discovers the burlesque world.

“The series is funny and dramatic and doesn’t look like any other. It may be French, but the creators Angela Soupe and Sara Santamaria-Mertens definitely integrated the U.S. series codes,” said Tanguy Dekeyser, content acquisition and co-production manager at Proximus. “All 10 episodes all perfectly mastered, and the story keeps evolving with no time out,” said Dekeyser.

Negotiations are also underway in Spain and Latin America, and the format is currently under discussion for a U.S. remake, according to Virginie Boireaux, the former Fox executive who is running Playtime’s TV division.

“Helvetica,” a Swiss political thriller which won best foreign series at La Rochelle Fiction Festival in 2019, was acquired by Palatin Media for digital rights in Germany. The series was co-produced by Rita Productions and Versus production for RTS (Radio Television Suisse). “Helvetica” is a mini-series about Tina, a native of Albania in her forties who works as a maid in government offices in Switzerland, and turns into a double agent for the Balkan mob and the Swiss counter-terrorism agency.

“Due to its smart combination of a local setting with international machinations we are sure the thrilling story will be very appealing to the audience,” said Bernd Schlötterer, managing director of Palatin Media.

“Helvetica” recently rolled out on France Télévision platform france.tv and will be soon be launched in Spain. A second season is currently in talks.

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