U.S. streaming service Topic is expanding its roster of French content with such recent acquisitions as the Arte fantasy-thriller miniseries “The Rope,” picked up from Wild Bunch TV, and Season 2 of political satire “Parliament,” sold internationally by France TV Distribution.
Launched by First Look Media in 2019, Topic specializes in crime and thrillers, including top Nordic shows like “The Killing,” “The Bridge,” “Arctic Circle” and “The Bridge”-inspired German thriller “Pagan Peak.”
Jennifer Liang, Topic’s vice president of programming strategy, acquisitions and sales, is attending this year’s Unifrance Rendez-Vous TV programming market in Biarritz for the first time and on the lookout for titles that fit the niche streamer’s high standards.
“For over a year, Topic has been hyper-focused on elevated crime, true crime, thriller and suspense programming from all over the world,” Liang said. “We found that our subscribers appreciate how we bypass the standard crime/true crime fare and offer gripping, well-produced stories with strong through lines, well developed complex characters and great writing, when scripted.
“We avoid stereotypes, formulaic formats and sensationalism, and value authenticity and unique perspectives. This holds true across our scripted and unscripted series, limited series, features and docs.”
Topic currently has more than 20 French series and films on offer.
“Some of my favorites are classics like ‘The Returned’; ‘Nox,’ an excellent crime drama we were able to premiere in the U.S. and Canada; and exciting political thrillers ‘Baron Noir’ and ‘Les Sauvages.’”
The streamer could soon land more French content.
“I’m very excited to be able to spend quality time with the many French companies we already do business with, start some new relationships, and to be able to meet all the wonderful French film distributors we don’t always have time to meet with at the major markets,” Liang added.
“We have great relationships with the French distribution community. We’ve worked regularly with companies like Lagardère Studios Distribution (now Mediawan), Studiocanal and Federation since before we launched, and have also acquired programming from others, including France TV, APC, Wild Bunch TV.”
Topic recently closed its first deal with Paris-based Newen Connect for exclusive U.S. and Canadian rights to four hit European series: Italian title “Christian”; “Dough” from Sweden; Denmark’s “White Sands”; and “The Spectacular” from the Netherlands.
Describing Topic’s subscribers, Liang said: “We like to think of it more as a psychographic than one type of person. People who love crime love Topic. They seek out the best crime and suspense programming from around the globe. In terms of demographics, our subscribers are a 50/50 split between adult men and women, primarily in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.”
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