Tag Archive: Christian Wikander

  1. Banijay Bolsters Scripted Division with Steve Matthews

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    Content powerhouse Banijay today announces the addition of Steve Matthews to its central scripted department. Appointed Content Partnerships Executive, the HBO Europe alumni will report to recently announced Global Head of Scripted, Christian Wikander. In the newly devised role, which commences on 1 February, he will act as a key facilitator in the group’s production development process, supporting in driving co-production opportunities across the Nordics, Spain and beyond, and generally building out the business’ pipeline and creative partnerships primarily across drama.

    Matthews joins the 22-territory organisation from HBO Europe, where he most recently served as VP, Executive Producer, Scripted, having joined the business back in 2014. In that post, he partnered with local teams across Central Europe, Spain and Nordics, to spearhead the development of original series and miniseries, as well as international adaptations. There he worked on productions including Pustina, Umbre, Blinded By The Lights, Uspjeh, The Sleepers, Foodie Love, Gösta; and from Banijay’s footprint specifically, 30 Coins (Pokeepsie), Beforeigners (Rubicon), and Beartown (Filmlance).

    Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive Officer, Banijay comments: “Scripted very much remains an area in which we want to grow our business, and over the past few years, we have really focused on nurturing a solid premium pipeline, further building our position reputationally in the market. Through organic growth and M&A, we will continue to strengthen our capabilities in this arena and in Steve, we have vast amounts of knowledge, and hands-on experience, which will be invaluable as we continue to expand our portfolio.”

    Steve Matthews comments: “Banijay has an impressive collection of scripted labels and some of the most anticipated and enjoyed titles in the world. Both locally and internationally, it has carved a name for itself as a go-to for quality and creativity. It will be great to be reunited with Christian in continuing to spur on the group’s catalogue potential and support its fantastic talent in taking even more shows from development to commission worldwide.”

    Prior to his eight-year stint at HBO Europe, Matthews was at Octagon Films in Dublin, where he produced four seasons of RTE’s award-winning gangster series, Love/Hate, and was Consulting Producer on all three runs of Showtime’s The Borgias starring Jeremy Irons. With a strong track record in premium scripted, he has also enjoyed periods as Head of Development at Ray Winstone’s Size 9 Productions, a script editor on the BBC’s long-running drama, Silent Witness, and as co-creator and producer of Urban Gothic for the UK’s Channel 5. Beyond the screen, he teaches regularly at the Midpoint writing programmes and has lectured at Serial Eyes and Series Mania.

  2. Banijay Taps Christian Wikander for Global Head of Scripted Post

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    Content powerhouse Banijay today confirms the appointment of Christian Wikander as its new Global Head of Scripted. Joining the group on 1 May 2023, he is tasked with spearheading strategic IP creation, driving collaboration across the business’ portfolio of over 50 drama labels, exploiting format potential, and identifying lucrative 3rd-party acquisition opportunities.

    Wikander joins from HBO Max Nordic (Warner Bros. Discovery), where, since 2020, he has served as Commissioning Editor & VP, Original Programming. There, he was responsible for developing original scripted series across the entity’s Nordic footprint, partnering with creators, producers, and key talent, both locally and internationally. Prior to this, he was Managing Director for London-based Twelve Town, having joined in 2016 as Head of Drama for Europe. There he led the company’s overarching business and IP strategy, and content pipeline, which incorporated Conspiracy of Silence (Viaplay).

    With extensive experience across the international scripted space, Wikander has also held Head of Drama roles over at SVT (Swedish Television) in Stockholm and Gothenburg, having built up his production credentials across a number of companies in the Scandinavian market.

    In his new post at Banijay, he will report to CEO, Marco Bassetti.

    Marco Bassetti, CEO, Banijay comments: “Having been a commissioner, managing director and producer, Christian has demonstrated not only his immense creative talent and agility as a leader, but importantly, his natural eye for recognising a story with international potential. With him in place, we feel we have further opportunity to grow our premium scripted offering and heighten Banijay’s reputation as a leader in both local and English-language dramas that connect audiences worldwide.”

     Wikander adds: “I feel a great sense of pride joining such a well-established, global group like Banijay. A collective of some of the best producers in the business, it is such a well-respected home for local stories that travel the world, and I look forward to collaborating with, and learning from, the brilliantly talented storymakers at the heart of it all. Here’s to 2023, a year of origination, returners and travelling scripted hits.”

    Banijay’s latest announced/on-air scripted highlights include SAS: Rogue Heroes (Kudos for BBC One), Marie Antoinette (Banijay Studios France, CAPA Drama, Les Gens France for Canal+ and BBC Two), Domina (Tiger Aspect for Sky Atlantic), Riding in Darkness (Jarowskij for CMORE/TV4), Ronja (Filmlance for Viaplay), Fallen (Filmlance for CMORE/TV4/ZDF), Bosé (Shine Iberia, VIS, Elefantec Global, Legacy Rock for Paramount Plus), Ripley (Endemol Shine North America for SHOWTIME), Gypsy Bride (Diaganol TV for Antena3), Dance Brothers (Endemol Shine Finland for Netflix), and Two Tone (Kudos for BBC One).

    The appointment follows current Global Head of Scripted, Lars Blomgren’s decision to stand down from his role and return to his roots as a producer off-the-back of his recent executive producer role on critically-acclaimed Scenes from a Marriage. He will remain at the business part-time until 1 May 2023 to aid a smooth transition period.