RAI FICTION/The Season of the big Series

Rai Fiction arrives at MipTV on the back of the extraordinary viewing figures registered during one of the best program-packed seasons of the last ten years. The new dramas “Il Sindaco pescatore” with Sergio Castellitto and “Io non mi arrendo” with Beppe Fiorello did very well, helping Rai 1 to win the prime time slot hands down.
There was another record-breaking season for “Don Matteo” starring Terence Hill, now in its tenth year, which received 33.9 % of the share (considering the best episode).
The success of “L’Ispettore Coliandro” continued for the fifth series about the amusing character created by Carlo Lucarelli who had been absent from Rai 2 since 2010. The new 13 part series “Tutto può succedere” performed so well that a second series is already in preparation.
The ratings champion was once again “Inspector Montalbano” that has starred Luca Zingaretti since 1999.
The Sicilian from Vigata returned with two new chapters: almost 11 million Italians tuned in to watch the police inspector created by Andrea Camilleri, setting a new record in terms of the share which reached 40.95 % for the second episode.
A result that celebrates the drama products produced by Palomar with Rai Fiction aimed at all categories of viewers, and projected Montalbano to the top of this year’s Auditel “Olympus” (Auditel is the Italian television ratings agency).
“There is little comparison for these figures on a European level”, observes the director of Rai Fiction, Eleonora Andreatta.
As there is no need to change a winning team, Luca Zingaretti & co are ready to film another two episodes (filming will start on 11 April, the main location will still be Ragusa with some incursions into neighboring towns, from Scicli to Noto, the cradles of Sicilian baroque) to be broadcast in 2017, based on the novel “Il covo di vipere” and the short story “Come voleva la prassi’. Another two episodes to be filmed next year are also in the works.

With regard to new projects, one important title is definitely the period drama “Medici: Masters of Florence”, selected for the Mip Drama Screenings, which will be flanked by other productions like the five evenings dedicated to “The name of the rose” (currently in the writing phase) adapted from Umberto Eco’s famous novel, and “Le Royaume” (The Kingdom) based on Emmanuel Carrère’s last book.
Eight hours of television to portray 650 packed pages of Roman, Jewish and, above all, Christian history. Another big series will be based on the saga by Elena Ferrante, starting with the first of the four books in the “My Brilliant Friend” series which will be ready for 2017 with four 100 minute episodes. A vast writing project about the female friendship between Lila Cerullo and Elena Greco, from their childhood in Naples in the1950s to the present day.

Rai Fiction’s titles also include more contemporary series like “Suburra”, ten episodes about organized crime in Rome based on the eponymous novel by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini, as well as the movie made by Cattleya and Netflix, the first Italian production by the biggest internet TV network in the world. At the controls of the new series and, previously, of the movie, is Stefano Sollima, the director of the television series “Romanzo criminale” and “Gomorra”. It should be noted that, unlike in the past, now Rai Fiction’s international operations have moved to the mini-series format of at least four episodes.

As for “Inspector Montalbano” and “The Young Montalbano “, RaiCom handles the international distribution of the Italian series.
Projects like the dramedy “Sirene” devised by Ivan Cotroneo or “La porta rossa”, a new detective mystery written by Carlo Lucarelli, on which filming has just begun in Trieste, can aspire to achieve foreign sales just like  “Close Murders” (12 x 100’), the innovative crime procedural show that aroused the interest of international buyers at the last Mipcom.
Three new detective shows based on three thrillers are also on the way “Rocco Schiavone”, which has already been christened the ‘Montalbano of the Alps’, about the adventures of a deputy chief constable who is ‘in a class of his own’, played by Marco Giallini, sent as a punishment from Rome and to Aosta, where filming began a month ago; “I bastardi di Pizzofalcone” with Alessandro Gassmann, a series set in contemporary Naples, which will be ready for the fall, based on the novel of the same name by the Neapolitan writer Maurizio de Giovanni who is also the author of “Il commissario Ricciardi” (currently in the development phase) and whose works are constantly amongst the top ten highest selling books Italy.

Rai Fiction animation is doing just as well. “Many high impact series will be arriving in 2016”, says the head and deputy director of the sector, Luca Milano. Amongst these we should mention “Zorro – The Chronicles”, already the protagonist of the opening of the last Mipcom.
For the littlest ones there is the delightful “Julio Bunny” (52 x 11’ episodes) based on Nicoletta Costa’s successful books, the spin-off of the “Cuccioli” series, “Mini Cuccioli” (52 x 5’), “Dixiland”, the second series starring the little white elephant created by Andrea Zingoni, “Pimpa giramondo” (26 x 5’), the fourth animated series featuring the little white puppy with red dots invented by Altan in 1975.
Soon “The Little Prince” and the journalist mouse “Geronimo Stilton” will be returning to our TV screens, both in their third season.
Plus there is the new series “Bat Pat” (52 x 12’), starring a talking bat with human friends who are supernatural enthusiasts, the animated road movie “Boo Boom” (26 x 26’) set in the Second World War, “Treasure Island” (26 x 26’) a new and bigger transposition of Stevenson’s masterpiece by the late Giuseppe Maurizio Laganà, the last work he directed and on which he handled the artistic direction.
By the end of the year there will also be the new animated series “Regal Academy”, the latest creation by Iginio Straffi inspired by the best-loved fairy tales about the adventures of the young schoolgirl Rose Cinderella.
The new titles include “Max Maestro” (52 x 11’), a project that combines entertainment and musical education with the valuable collaboration of Maestro Daniel Barenboim, “Paf – Il cane” (78 x 7’), the adaptation of the hit international videogame “Space Dog”, “Pirata e Capitano” (52 x 11’) for preschoolers starring a tender female version of Jack Sparrow and a boy who lives flying around on a seaplane.
However Rai Fiction’s proposals for kids are not limited to animations. “Seven and Me ” (26 x 26’) is on the way, a brand new series that mixes live action and animated characters, the famous seven dwarves in the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale, and a live action show aimed at pre-teens: “Maggie & Bianca. Fashion Friends”.
The protagonists of this first non- animated production from Rainbow are the two girls named in the title who attend the Milan Fashion Academy and share a passion for fashion and music.
Together they will attempt to make their dreams come true.

The rendezvous is at Cartoons on the Bay for the traditional Rai animation sector press conference.

Nella sezione: Focus on italy