The TV Upfronts event organised by the MIA Market in Rome saw the most important production companies in the Italian TV landscape share details of their upcoming projects. 

In the audience were showrunners Chris Brancato (Narcos) and Evan Katz (24), producer Kate Crowe (Misfits), HBO co-head of drama series David Levine and actor Daniel Dae Kim, as well as representatives from international companies and networks.


Headlining the event was the company behind Suburra and Gomorrah, now announcing the third season of its world famous criminal show, which airs in Italy on the 17th of November.

“We think of Gomorrah as our shakespearian action drama, a story of brothers, sons and fathers” explained Kim Gualino, supervising producer at Cattleya. “In the third season we’ve found a way to introduce a new territory without betraying the core concept, we will now see Naples through the eyes of old and new characters”.

Next on Cattleya’s slate is Zero Zero Zero, also known by the international working title of Extra Pure.

Coming from the same team of Gomorrah (based on the book by Roberto Saviano, directed by Stefano Sollima and written for the screen by Leonardo Fasoli together with Max Hurwitz and Mauricio Katz), it’s a story of international drug trafficking and the world economy in several languages: english, spanish, french, arabic and Calabria’s dialect.

“The whole season will follow the journey of a single drug load from Mexico to Europe through buyers, brokers, dealers, contrast forces and smugglers” said Kim Gualino.


Following the crime trend in Italian television, Magnolia is about to deliver Mafia Capitale, a six part documentary divided in three episodes, airing first on RAI.

Mafia Capitale tells the true story behind one of the most important trials in recent times involding the former mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno and members of the Ndrangheta. It lasted 21 months, involved 60 lawyers and more than 200 hearings and saw 41 people indicted.

The series alternates between real footage incliuding audio from police wiretapes and actors for recreating the situations.

“Investigative docu-fiction may as well be a new kind of documentary” said Alessandro Genovesi, head of development at Magnolia. “A crucial one when dealing with this kind of complex situations and bringing the business of crime in prime time”.


Two new projects showing different sides of southern Italy are coming from Cross Production. The Hunter is based on the big war between the Italian state and the Mafia that took place in the ‘90s. Based on the true story a young superintendent that arrested many mafia bosses, it’s a crime drama set in Palermo and is ready to air.

They will also feature the lighter side of Naples in Mermaids In Naples, a romantic drama in six episode with fairy tales characters. Leading are 4 mermaids, a mother and three daughters of different ages, looking for the last triton of the Mediterranean who has disguised himself as a human in Naples and wants to marry a normal woman. The series stars Luca Argentero as the triton, Valentina Bellè as the romantic lead and Gomorrah’s Maria Pia Calzone as the mermaid mother.


Two new TV movies of Montalbano have been produced and are ready to air. The series revolving around a police inspector in rural Sicily started 18 years ago and has since been sold in 60 different territories.

The Montalbano universe will also be expanded by another spinp-off series: Tales From Vigata. Each episode tells a different crime story in the same fictional Sicilian province in which Montalbano is based, but is set more 100 years before. Shooting is just about to start.

Palomar also presented some of its upcoming international co-productions starting with Gaddafi, a project on the deceased Libyan leader, co-produced with Entertainment One and created by Roberto Saviano and Nadav Schirman. Shooting is set to start in the end of 2018.

In addition January and summer 2018 will respectively see the start of The Name Of The Rose, an 8 episode series from the well-known novel starring John Turturro, and The Dirty Black Bag, a steampunk western between mystery and horror.


The producers of Medici: Masters of Florence showed new images from upcoming season 2 which is set 20 years after the first one and was “all shot in the actual locations where the story is set” according to Luca Bernabei, Lux Vide’s CEO.


(Gabriele Niola – Screen Daily)