With broadcasters constantly searching for original, compelling drama for their schedules, our wide-ranging catalogue of international titles continues to be plundered. Today, we announce a number of deals for our new Scandi titles, as well as for some established favourites.
Nobel (8 x 60) is a gripping new political and social thriller, placing a dramatic conspiracy plot in the middle of Norway’s war in Afghanistan and at the centre of the world’s most famous humanitarian prize. Produced by Monster, it premiered on NRK to critical acclaim in late September. DRG has succeeded in securing a number of sales for this highly anticipated title, iCanal + (France), Lumiere Group (Benelux), and DBS Satellite Services in Israel.
Black Widows mixes the best of Nordic crime drama with dark humour and tells the tale of three wives intent on killing their husbands. Season 2 (12 x 60), has just been licensed by Televisa (Mexico), while AXN Mystery (Japan) Sony (Germany) on Pay tv and Euvid on Free to air have acquired the first season (12 x 60) of the original version. [SM1] In addition, Iceland 365, SBS Australia (the SBS On Demand AVOD platform)) and Acorn Media in the US have acquired Black Widows Scandinavia, a 8 x 60 reversion, produced by Moskito for TV3 (Sweden, Norway, Denmark).
HBO Europe has acquired the NRK-produced Eyewitness (6 x 60), a tale of murder, corruption and gang warfare, told through the eyes of two teenagers, and it has also signed up for Halfwords (8 x 30), an HBO Asia production telling of a parallel world of bloodthirsty creatures from Indonesian mythology that live alongside humans. SBS (Australia) has also acquired the Ben Wishaw-fronted, BAFTA Award-winning series Criminal Justice (5 x 60) from BBC Productions, and Umbre (8 x 60), the HBO Europe (Romania) reversion of Australian mafia series Small Time Gangster.
Very few dramas get to be considered a classic, or evergreen, but Doc Martin certainly could. Its seven seasons, the first of which was produced in 2004 by Buffalo Pictures, in association with Homerun Productions for ITV1, continue to sell around the world, with Sky 1 in Germany recently acquiring all 54 x 60 episodes from DRG in one major new deal.
Finally, Film Rise, the American digital distributor, has struck a deal with DRG for an extensive content package with a number of drama titles at its core. These include all three seasons of Easy Living (32 x 60), two seasons of Green Wing (17 x 60) and two seasons of Detectorists. (13 x 30).
Anne Roder-Botbol, SVP sales for EMEA was responsible for a number of these sales, including Doc Martin and the Nobel pre-sale to Canal Plus. She comments: “Scandinavia has a justly deserved reputation for creating excellent, thought-provoking drama and the big early Scandi hits paved the way, encouraging more broadcasters to invest in non-local language drama. We are delighted that our exclusive relationship with NRK, as well as other producers in the region, keeps a steady supply of excellent shows such as Nobel coming our way.
“It is also wonderful to see titles such as Doc Martin still going strong, proving that for distributors such as ourselves, investing in quality drama and knowing how to handle such titles can still pay dividends, ten or more years down the line. Doc Martin has been sold to 138 territories and while the original may be set against a quintessentially British backdrop, the fish-out-of-water doctor is an easily adaptable theme and has seen the Doc Martin format remade in seven countries, including the Netherlands, France and Spain.”