Series Mania round-up: Nevis takes ‘Yop’ to Lille; Sky & SBS buy ‘Christian’; Upgade, ACT 4 & Drugi Plan erupt with ‘Volcano’
By Mark Layton, TBI
Nevis takes ‘Yop’ to Lille
Nordic scripted production company Nevis Productions is in development on YOP, a limited drama series inspired by the true story of Swedish artist and music producer David Jassy.
Jassy’s life came to a screeching halt at age 34 following an altercation at a crosswalk in LA, resulting in the death of a man. He was given a life sentence for second degree murder and spent the subsequent years struggling to survive some of California’s most overcrowded and dangerous prisons.
The 8 x 45-minute series is produced by Nevis Productions’ Anni Faurbye Fernandez, Cindy Hanson, and Moa Westeson and will be shot in a mixture of English and Swedish language in both California and Stockholm. The project is being developed in collaboration with David Jassy, which the creators said gives the project “an unparalleled authenticity for a prison series – a feel-good survival story in a ‘feel bad’ arena, set to the tones of hip hop.”
The project will debut in the Series Mania Co-Pro Pitch Competition in Lille, where Nevis Productions is also premiering its crime series Nordland ’99 in The International Panorama Series competition.
Sky & SBS buy ‘Christian’
Sky UK and Sky Deutschland, OCS in France, Topic in the USA, AMC in Spain, OTE in Greece, SBS in Australia and Lumiere in the Benelux region have picked up seasons one and two of supernatural crime series Christian following deals with Newen Connect.
Produced by Lucky Red for Sky Italia, the show follows the fate of the eponymous hero Christian (Edoardo Pesce) the henchman of local crime boss Lino (Giordano de Plano), who suddenly discovers he has gained mysterious healing powers.
Nadia Chevallard, SVP of distribution at Newen Connect, said: “Christian is an unmissable series, that is both tragic and ironic. The team at Lucky Red have brilliantly given a new twist to Italian series storytelling; one that see’s the drama unfold like a dark comedy but which strikes the viewer like a very human drama.”
Upgade, ACT 4 & Drugi Plan erupt with ‘Volcano’
LA-based Upgrade Productions is partnering with Iceland’s newly launched ACT 4 and Croatia’s Drugi Plan on Volcano, an original eco-political drama-thriller series.
The 8 x 60-minute series is produced by ACT 4 and Drugi Plan, and executive produced by Upgrade Productions, based on the original idea by Taraba and Sila and written by Rúnarsson and Mateja Božičević.
The mixed-language series (English, Icelandic, Croatian) will be shot in Iceland and Croatia, with production scheduled to start early next year.
After a crushing volcanic eruption devastates Iceland, a UN directive relocates the surviving residents to Croatia. Volcano follows the tensions that arise as these vastly different societies are forced to learn how to live together, survive cultural clashes and ultimately help each other.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with ACT 4 and Drugi Plan on Volcano as we see this series not simply as story about disaster, but an exploration of how people behave and treat each other under extraordinary circumstances,” said Upgrade Productions’ head of series Caroline Kusser.
‘The Minister’ returns for second term
Iceland’s RUV, together with DR in Denmark, SVT in Sweden, NRK in Norway, and YLE in Finland have commissioned a second season of political drama The Minister.
Produced by Sagafilm and distributed by Cineflix Rights, the second season has also pre-sold to Viaplay for the UK and Germany.
The series stars Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Benedikt Ríkharðsson, the Icelandic Prime Minister whose medical condition threatens the stability of the government and the private lives of the team around him.
James Durie, head of scripted at Cineflix Rights, said: “After the success of the first season, we are delighted that the many fans of The Minister around the world will be able to continue to follow the stories of Benedikt, Steinunn and the schemers and plotters around them in such a sharply written drama which touches on so many contemporary issues.”
Yes Studios boards ‘Unsilenced’
Yes Studios, the Israeli producer and distributor behind Fauda, Your Honor and Shtisel, has boarded Unsilenced, a new drama inspired by the novel “The Confidante” by Odelia Carmon.
The six-part series explores the crime of sexual violence, the lengths to which an influential perpetrator, in this case a president – and his allies – will go to silence victims, protect themselves and keep their crimes out of the public eye, and how women bound by experience can come together to seek justice.
The series stars Yaakov Zada Daniel (Fauda), Avraham Shalom Levi (Shtisel), Nelly Mira Rubin (Fire Dance), Dana Meinrath and Irit Nathan Benedek.
Unsilenced was created by Avraham Shalom Levi, Tamar Marom, Moish Goldberg and Einat Zilber Damari, with Odelia Carmon as co-creator. The series was written by Avraham Shalom Levi and Tamar Marom, directed by Moish Goldberg and produced by Great Productions and Yes TV.
Yes Studios handles worldwide distribution for the completed series and the scripted format.
‘Golden Boy’ heads to Sweden & Finland
TV4 in Sweden has acquired the rights to Turkish drama series Golden Boy for its TV4GOLD and Sjuan linear channels, as well as streamer CMore and TV4 Play. Distributor Eccho Rights has also struck a deal with MTV Oy, with the series to stream on CMore and Katsomo in Finland.
The deals represent the first Turkish drama picked up by a commercial broadcaster in Sweden, as well as the first time that a Turkish series has been licensed by a Finnish broadcast group.
Golden Boy, produced by OGM Pictures for Star TV, tells the story of two sisters, Seyran and Suna, whose paths cross with golden boy Ferit. The two sisters’ lives change forever when Ferit decides to marry Seyran instead of Suna.
“We are thrilled to once again be at the forefront of bringing Turkish Drama to new audiences. Golden Boy’s extraordinary success so far makes it an easy choice for broadcasters looking to test something new,” said Melis Hamacioglu, director of digital media acquisition & content sales, MENA, India, Pakistan & Western Europe at Eccho Rights.