Advanced Television

Blue Ant: Crime and mystery sales trending across CEE

June 20, 2024

Blue Ant Studios has reported a surge in sales and demand for true crime and mystery content in CEE. From limited series to long-running crime formats, buyers from a wide range of channels and platforms are turning to Blue Ant Studios to fill their schedules. Over 270 hours of premium series and documentaries from Blue Ant’s growing roster of crime-production partners have been acquired by Canal+, CBS Reality, DOX TV, Public Institution Lithuanian Radio & Television (LRT), MRT, Delfi, Digi Romania (formerly RCS and RDS) and Viasat World.

“The crime and mystery genres are fueling a growing demand for series and documentaries, driven by captivating storytelling and compelling headlines. We’ve noticed a rising trend in interest for these stories in CEE,” said Kate Blank, VP, International Sales, Blue Ant Studios. “Our catalogue includes everything from limited series to long-running returnable franchises that explore real-life crimes, unsolved cases, strange phenomena, police procedurals and profiles of criminal masterminds, all catering to audiences’ growing desire for binge-able, compelling stories and characters.”

Sales in the region include:

Croatia’s HRT; Czechia’s FTV Prima, Digi Romania and Lithuania’s Public Institution Lithuanian National Radio & Television (LRT) all licensed the long-running series, Mysteries from Above (30 x 60’; Saloon Media), which investigates historical and contemporary sites from above with drone, satellite and aerial photography for a unique perspective to reveal fascinating insights into these strange occurrences.

In Poland, Canal+ picked up Our Toughest Cases (6 x 60’; Woodcut Media), which features officers as they relive the toughest cases they’ve faced and provide first-hand insight into cases that had seismic repercussions and shook entire communities to their core; Night Stalker: Terror in A Small Town, (3 x 60′ | 2 x 90′ | 1 x 120′; Joined Up Films) is a shocking true crime documentary that explores the longest-running manhunt for a serial killer in Australian history; Predator: Catching the Black Cab Rapist (1 x 60′; October Films) explores the case of Britain’s most prolific serial rapist, John Worboys, who drugged, raped and assaulted over 100 victims in the back of his black cab.

CBS Reality acquired Big Little Crimes (10 x 60’| 30 x 30’; Brown Bob Productions), which follows the stories of ordinary beat cops who come across a crucial piece of evidence that leads to the capture of a major criminal; plus season two of Killers: Caught on Camera (20 x 60’; back2back) that pieces together video footage to solve crimes and bring the criminals to justice.

International broadcaster Viasat World has licensed for its Viasat True Crime channel in Poland the eighth season of See No Evil (20 x 60’; Arrow Media & Saloon Media) a long-running, ground-breaking series about how real crimes are solved with the help of surveillance cameras;  Playboy Bunny Murder (2 x 60′ HD; Future Studios, Soho Studios) which sees journalist and author Marcel Theroux take viewers to the enchantment and exoticism of the Playboy Club in London’s swinging seventies, which was the backdrop for one of the world’s most enduring unsolved murder cases of four young women; as well as Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies (3×60’; Blue Ant Studios) in which Casey Anthony finally tells her story a decade after being acquitted of murdering her daughter in a court decision that enraged millions and earned her the moniker of “America’s Most Hated Mom.”

DOX TV has picked up Mafia Killers with Colin McLaren (6 x 60′; Bedlam Productions) in which the detective takes a close look at six notorious American mobsters including John Gotti, Henry Hill and Sammy Gravano; Evil By Design: Surviving Nygard  (3 x 60′; Blue Ant Studios) a three-part documentary series that searches for the truth behind allegations of Peter Nygård’s 40-year reign of terror, featuring first-hand accounts from the survivors who tell harrowing stories of abuse; Undercover: Fighting the Fraudsters (10 x 60′; Curve Media; s1), following investigative journalist Paul Connolly as he delves into the rapidly growing world of fraud and scams from phishing to investment fraud, from romantic scams to forgeries; Madeleine McCann: Investigating the Prime Suspect (3 x 60′; ScreenDog Productions) following the first active TV investigation into the German paedophile Christian B since he became the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case.

North Macedonia’s MRT also licensed Playboy Bunny Murder alongside Cracking The Code (8 x 60′; Blink Films), which uncovers some of the world’s most famous – and infamous – encryptions. Unravelling these codes can unlock military secrets, unmask deadly enemies and even decode lost civilizations. The Real Spies Among Friends (1 x 60′; Wingspan Productions) is the real story behind hit drama series A Spy Among Friends. This documentary on Kim Philby, and his fellow Cambridge traitors, reveals the worst spy ring in history.

In Lithuania, Delfi picked up Cops on the Rocks (10 x 60′; Rare TV), which shows the extraordinary work of Gibraltar’s police and customs forces as they fight against international smugglers and drug dealers.; and Women on the Force (16 x 60’; Flint TV & Lambent Productions) captures the frontline women officers on the West Yorkshire Police force and the demands the job can place on their lives – both on duty and at home.

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