»Big primetime shows are what free to air channels are looking for right now.«

Nina Etspüler, Group Creative Director at Red Arrow Studios

As Group Creative Director of Red Arrow Studios, Nina oversees Red Arrow’s global format and IP development, format acquisitions and international roll-outs. We took the opportunity to talk with her about how she manages creative partnerships in Germany and internationally within Red Arrow, which new trends she sees in the industry and which new show she’s currently most excited about.
You were promoted to Group Creative Director earlier in 2019 - how are you enjoying your new role and what are the main responsibilities and challenges of leading creative at Red Arrow?
„Our mission is to champion new ideas globally and to accelerate the rollout of Red Arrow’s shows across whatever platform - from linear TV to digital.“

I’m really enjoying it a lot! It definitely feels good to be part of this new management team James Baker has built to lead the group. Our team is responsible for all of Red Arrow’s formats and IP development, plus acquiring formats and rolling them out around the world. Our mission is to champion new ideas globally and to accelerate the rollout of Red Arrow’s shows across whatever platform - from linear TV to digital. With my team, we manage the creative partnerships between our production companies in Germany and internationally, plus stay across ProSiebenSat.1 channels and what they need, and work with third party creators and producers.

How do you work with the companies within the group?

We have regular calls with the creative teams of the Red Arrow companies. We try to also have the respective sales people from Red Arrow Studios International in the calls. So in the best case everybody comes away with interesting intel: what’s going on in their respective markets, valuable industry news, potential clients, new briefings, interesting international industry news, what’s going on at our German channels etc. We aim to keep circulating valuable information around the group. Aside from that it’s also important for us to have a good overview of the development pipelines of the companies which feeds back into other Red Arrow departments.

„Germany still has a strong free-to-air environment.“
What are the main differences between the TV industry in Germany and internationally?

German budgets are still quite healthy. Scripted is a bit underserved in Germany at the moment; especially the commercial channels were more active in the area a few years back. But Germany still has a strong free-to-air environment, and the big OTT platforms are just getting started there.

What are some of the key new trends in the non-scripted market?
„There are some really amazing, creative ideas in Red Arrow’s development pipeline - from Red Arrow centrally and within our production companies.“

One universal trend seems to be the need for big ideas. Big scale primetime shows are particularly what the classic free to air channels are looking for right now. Recent successes like “The Masked Singer” prove that non-scripted television can still be a valuable asset in the schedule. In reality TV there seems to be a demand for a kinder and gentler way of storytelling, which fits very well with our current slate of social experiments with a purpose. Shows like “Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds” from CPL Productions, show that you can take your protagonists seriously and still bring in great ratings.

What new Red Arrow shows and initiatives are you most excited about?

There are some really amazing, creative ideas in Red Arrow’s development pipeline - from Red Arrow centrally and within our production companies. The pipeline has never been so healthy, varied and interesting, and with such a broad client base. Also, Carlo Dusi, EVP Commercial Strategy, Scripted, and his scripted team within Red Arrow Studios International have put together an amazing portfolio of scripted development slate, so I’m really looking forward to seeing those ideas coming to life. From a personal perspective, I’m also really looking forward to working again with Florida TV in Germany on distributing their latest hugely successful ProSieben format “Joko & Klaas gegen ProSieben”, which we have recently launched at MIPCOM as “Beat the Channel”.