Reflecting on Harold Robbins’ Big Mip Experience in 1969

  • Variety
Fifty years ago, 1,500 individuals from 53 countries attended the fifth edition of MipTV at Cannes. It’s a small fraction of the estimated 10,500 expected this year, but organizers in 1969 were ecstatic at the turnout. They were also ecstatic to welcome celebs such as Harold Robbins, plugging “The Survivors,” starring Lana Turner.

On April 30, 1969, Variety reported that the hour-long drama was budgeted at “a new all-time high of $300,000 per episode.” Robbins was hot stuff in the 1960s as he virtually invented sex-and-wealth blockbuster novels with “The Carpetbaggers” and “Where Love Has Gone.” In addition to his Mip-promoted “Survivors,” various companies were planning adaptations of four Robbins works, including big-screen projects “The Adventurers,” “The Inheritors” and “Stiletto,” plus the TV-targeted “79 Park Avenue.” That quartet represented a total investment of $36 million.

“I am the only writer able to make three major companies go broke in one year,” he joked at Cannes.

The Survivors,” which also starred George Hamilton,
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