Tag Archive: Lars Blomgren

  1. 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.

  2. Terence Films Creates High-End Louis Braille Drama for Global Market

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    Banijay France’s acclaimed scripted label, Terence Films, today announces a new premium drama in development, based on best-selling novel ‘The Hands of Louis Braille’ by Hélène Jousse.

    Patrice Leconte, the well-known French director and writer, behind hits Ridicule, Monsieur Hire, The Hairdresser’s Husband, The Man on the Train and the forthcoming feature film, Maigret et la Jeune Morte, with Gerard Depardieu, has immediately accepted to freely adapt the novel into a world-class drama. As well as directing, Leconte will partner with Serge Frydman (Now or Never, The Girl on the Bridge) to write the screenplay, tracing the life of young genius Louis Braille, who lost his sight at four years old. In the 1800s, through his desire to access knowledge in his early teens, Louis Braille revolutionised the world by creating the tactile writing system that bears his name.

    Bertrand Cohen and Stephane Meunier, Co-Founders of Terence Films comment: “Louis Braille is one of France’s most iconic figures, and while his writing system is known globally, the story of his life is largely untold. At a young age he changed the world for millions by creating a code that works in all alphabets and languages, even today. Based on a novel by Hélène Jousse, this drama is set to have widespread appeal, especially with Patrice Leconte on board to write and direct. With his impressive list of credits, he is ideally placed to take this extraordinary story and develop it into a high-end proposition for the international market.”

    Lars Blomgren, Head of Scripted at Banijay comments: “We have a very established scripted business in France, and this deal is further evidence of how our companies attract significant talent and IP. The story of Louis Braille is a fascinating one, and with the audience demand for untapped, diverse stories continuing to grow on both linear broadcasters and streaming platforms, there is huge potential globally for this inspirational drama.”

    Terence Films is behind numerous hit dramas. This year, the company has produced the fourth season of Criminal Pacific (18×52), two TV-movies of Poquelin & de Beaumont directed by Gabriel Aghion starring Clementine Celarie for France Television, and the feature film Magnificat, which is supported by an advance on earnings from the CNC (Orange Cinema – theatrical release in 2022). Magnificat is directed by Virginie Sauveur, starring Karin Viard and François Berléand. The company recently picked up the option rights to adapt French-language drama series Après (After), produced by Duo Productions, distributed by CBC & Radio-Canada Distribution.

    Led by François de Brugada, Banijay France is home to a line-up of boutique scripted labels with Terence Films, Marathon, Shine Fiction and Banijay Studios France, the company behind recent hit Germinal and the new major series for CANAL+ and BBC, Marie Antoinette.

    Banijay’s wider footprint is home to over 50 scripted labels, spearheaded by Lars Blomgren, and producing high-end, award-winning content for the local and international market. Recent and upcoming credits include SAS: Rogue Heroes (Kudos), Marie Antoinette (Banijay Studios France), Ripley (Endemol Shine North America), Then They Run (Kudos/ MadeFor), Countrymen (Rubicon), Call My Agent: Bollywood (Banijay Asia), Ronja the Robber’s Daughter (Filmlance for Viaplay), Heirs to the Land (Diagonal), Bonnie & Clyde (Banijay Benelux), Queens (Endemol Shine Israel) and Aarya (Endemol Shine India).

  3. Endemol Shine Italy and Rai Fiction Co-Produce Female Empowerment Drama

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    Banijay today confirmsLa Sposa (The Bride), a new six-part series from Endemol Shine Italy, co-produced with Rai Fiction. Set in the late 1960s, it stars Serena Rossi (Ammore e Malavita, Io sono Mia, Mina Settembre) and will air on Rai1 in 2022. The series is directed by Giacomo Campiotti (Bianca come il latte, rossa come il sangue, Braccialetti Rossi, Chiara Lubich – L’amore vince tutto) and has been created by Valia Santella (Mia madre, Napoli velata, Il Traditore). 


    The Bride is a touching tale of redemption and liberation, centring around Maria, a young woman who marries Italo by proxy, a widespread practice in Italy, in the late 1960’s, where young women from the South married landowners in the North. Maria adjusts to a controversial rural life as a stepmother with the disdain of a husband who is still traumatised by his first wife’s disappearance. Despite the adversity, her unwavering resilience and positivity see bonds begin to form, until the appearance of her ex-boyfriend threatens to change everything.  


    These personal stories are set amidst significant social change such as a rise in worker’s demands for rights and Italy’s industrialisation throughout the 1960s. Although set in the past, the series speaks to the present and addresses very topical issues, including women’s rights, their emancipation and gender equality. 


    Leonardo Pasquinelli, CEO of Endemol Shine Italy comments: “It is fantastic to work with Rai Fiction on a project which shines a light on life in the 1960s, a time of dramatic change here in Italy. Shot across Rome, Apulia and Piedmont, this high-quality drama, executive produced by Francesco Pincelli and directed by Giacomo Campiotti, has created characters which perfectly capture the complexity of the era.”  


    Maria Pia Ammirati, Head of Drama, Rai comments: “The Bride is a brand-new period drama which follows a woman through emancipation and integration while highlighting the struggle women had in changing attitudes. After the successes of L’Allieva (The Good Apprentice), Mentre ero via (While I Was Away) and Un’altra vita (Second Chance) Rai Fiction is glad to work again with Endemol Shine Italy for a new female-led TV series that explores an important stage of our history”.  


    Benedetta Galbiati, Head of Scripted at Endemol Shine Italy adds: “After having several huge successes with Rai Fiction, we are very proud to co-produce this new series together. The Bride is a story about an extremely modern woman, in which many will recognise themselves, a courageous and strong female figure, who fights for her rights and never gives up.” 


    Banijay is home to over 50 scripted labels, led globally by Lars Blomgren, producing premium, award-winning content for the local and international market.  Recent and upcoming credits include SAS: Rogue Heroes(Kudos),  Marie Antoinette (Banijay Studios France), Ripley (Endemol Shine North America),  Then They Run (Kudos/ MadeFor), Countrymen (Rubicon), Ronja (Filmlance), Call My Agent: Bollywood (Banijay Asia),  Heirs to the Land (Diagonal),  Bonnie & Clyde (Banijay Benelux) and Queens (Endemol Shine Israel).

  4. Banijay On The Run with New Dutch Drama Bonnie & Clyde

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    Banijay today announces Bonnie & Clyde, the first drama series commission from rebranded Dutch label, Banijay Benelux Scripted, formerly known as  EndemolShine Scripted.


    Bonnie & Clyde is a four-part mini-series for local streamer, Videoland, and tells the tale of  two young, rambunctious lovers and their violent quest for freedom. The narrative is inspired by a is co-true story named Bonnie & Clyde in the press, which captivated the whole of the Netherlands in February 2014.


    In the series, with only a few months left in juvenile detention, Esra Kaplan decides not to return to custody after a dramatic leave visit to her Turkish family. Instead, she and her boyfriend Greg Driessen go on the run. For the first time in their lives, Esra and Greg are free from everything and everyone, but with crimes going from  bad to worse, they become known as the “Bonnie &  Clyde of the Low Countries”. Will they escape and start over together – or will they eventually be overtaken by their past?


    Bonnie & Clyde is co-produced by Totem Media and is distributed globally by Banijay Rights, and will be among the company’s autumn highlights.  Further details of Banijay Benelux Scripted will be announced soon.


    Gerd-Jan van Dalen, Producer at Banijay Benelux Scripted says: “Everyone in the Netherlands was gripped with this original, unpredictable tale. Inspired by the real life events, and with true-crime stories becoming increasingly popular, we believe viewers will feel the suspense in this drama like never before.  With Banijay Rights distributing the title, we’re excited to launch the show to a global audience.”


    Banijay Benelux also houses award-winning producer, NL Film, the company behind global success Penoza, which has been adapted in numerous markets, including India, where it is known as Aarya for Disney+ Hotstar and has been nominated for an International Emmy. Other recent credits include Golden Hour for AVROTROS and NPO, Van der Valk for All3 Media and Company Pictures and Costa, a new film set for theatrical release.


    Also operating in the region is  Banijay Belgium, with Familie for VTM among their credits.


    Banijay is home to the world’s best scripted producers, with over 50 diverse, award-winning labels across the company’s footprint in the UK, US, Australia, Nordics, Germany, Benelux, Iberia, Belgium, Israel, Italy, Poland and India. Recent and forthcoming credits include Countrymen (Rubicon for NRK), Queens (Endemol Shine Israel for HOT), Vinterviken/ JJ & E (Filmlance for Netflix and SVT), Germinal (Banijay Studios France for France 2), RFDS: Royal Flying Doctors Service (Endemol Shine Banks for Seven), Ripley (Endemol Shine North America for Showtime), SAS: Rogue Heroes (Kudos for BBC ONE), The Rig (Wild Mercury for Amazon Prime), A Class Apart (Jarowskij in coproduction with Brommamamma, Film I Väst and Nent Group for Viaplay), Heirs to the Land (Diagonal Television for Netflix/Atresmedia/TV Catalunya), Then They Run (Kudos, MadeFor for Sky), Call My Agent (Applause Entertainment & Banijay Asia)

  5. Norwegian Scripted Label Rubicon Lands New Coming-of-Age Drama

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    Banijay today announces Norwegian scripted label, Rubicon, has produced a new eight-part drama for Discovery Nordic, which is set to be released soon.


    Nach, or “After Party” in English, follows university dropout Selma (Sarah Francesca Brænne) as she struggles with feelings for her half-sister’s boyfriend August (Fredrik Stenberg Ditlev-Simonsen). After being thrown out of her houseshare, she moves in with big sister Elin (Ingrid Giæver) and becomes caught up with emotions for her sister’s boyfriend. The situation unravels during eight very different after parties throughout the summer.


    The series is set to launch on Discovery Nordic this spring. Anne Bjørnstad and Fridrik H. Mar serves as Executive Producers for Rubicon AS and Fredrik Kvåle Dørum serves as Executive Producer for Discovery Networks Norway AS. Produced by Stine Blichfeldt. The series was written by Mads Stegger and Ernst De Geer and the Directors are Ernst De Geer and Fanny Ovesen.


    Nach will be distributed internationally, outside of Discovery Nordic markets, by Banijay Rights.


    Lars Blomgren, Head of Scripted at Banijay says: “Norwegian drama is well-known for its fantastic quality and Nach lives up to all expectations of the market’s creativity. This nostalgic tale of life blossoming into adulthood is beautifully produced and is a wonderful addition to Banijay’s scripted slate.”


    Anne Bjørnstad at Rubicon says; “Nach captures the borrowed time and carefree atmosphere of a party before daybreak when real life hasn’t yet begun. It mirrors the phase when young people make momentous decisions which alter their path forever. This realistic drama portrays this unique time of the human journey and will have viewers hooked.”


    One of Norway’s leading drama production companies, Rubicon, is behind numerous scripted hits, including Lilyhammer, created by Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad, and The Councilman, which was also adapted for the Dutch market.


    Rubicon’s most recent success is Beforeigners for HBO, airing across Europe and in the US on HBO Max. Production on the second series is underway, also written and created by Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad.

  6. Banijay Returns to Takis Candilis to Foster High-End European Scripted Slate

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    Banijay today confirms it is welcoming Takis Candilis back to the business as it increases its investment in scripted. Scaling up to 120 production entities, the globally-renowned producer distributor has, over the past few months, significantly increased its operations and talent in the scripted space, firmly positioning it on the map for premium, travelling drama. With the addition of Candilis as senior advisor, it plans to drive up co-production and new IP opportunities across southern Europe to continue building its catalogue of high-quality brands.


    Candilis, who left Banijay back in 2018, previously served as the group’s head of scripted before departing to France Télévisions. As deputy managing director of broadcast and programming for the network, he has spent the past two years supervising programming and editorial strategy for the group’s national channels. Having started his career as an independent producer, the entrepreneur has also held leadership roles at TF1, Lagardère Entertainment, Tara Productions and Caméras Continentales.


    At Banijay, Candilis was previously charged with expanding international activity in the scripted space. In his new capacity as an advisor, he will focus on identifying and bringing in co-production ventures and high-end scripted projects in southern Europe.


    Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive Officer comments: “While unscripted continues to be at the core of Banijay, we have undoubtedly amplified our scripted efforts through the latest acquisition. Teaming our increased ambition in the drama space with the ample opportunity in the market, we are sure, with Takis, we can further grow our international pipeline and strategically drive up southern European owned-IP for our catalogue.”


    Takis Candilis comments: “What a difference two years makes… Banijay was always an inspiring, ambitious and ultimately creative business but over the past few months it has rapidly expanded and become a leading player in the scripted space. It’s a great time to be returning as the group continues to innovate and I look forward to working with the team to identify original premium IP projects and collaboration opportunities across southern Europe.”


    As senior advisor, Candilis will partner closely with Chief Executive Officer, Marco Bassetti, and the group’s core leadership team. The consultancy compliments the recent appointment of Lars Blomgren, who now manages non-English language content for the group as Head of Scripted for EMEA.

  7. Banijay Secures Lars Blomgren as Head of Scripted, EMEA

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    Banijay today confirms Lars Blomgren will proceed as Head of Scripted, EMEA. Focusing on the non-English side of the scaled-up scripted offering, he will work in partnership with the group’s hugely talented producers across Europe, Middle East and Asia, to grow the pipeline of top-quality titles in the space.


    With a burgeoning portfolio of production entities and premium brands, Blomgren will be tasked with driving collaboration across the non-English scripted footprint, identifying new prospects and partnerships to optimise investment.  The role will also give him responsibility for forging co-production opportunities between English speaking markets and EMEA-based labels.


    At Endemol Shine Group, he spent the last two years spearheading the business’ non-English scripted production engine where in 2019 the company was responsible for 69 productions, growing from 50 the previous year. Notable highlights include Bron, Penoza, Caliphate, Beforeigners and Queens along with highly anticipated new series, Vinterviken 2021, The Idhun Chronicles and Bombay Begums.


    In his new role, Blomgren will report to Banijay’s Chief Executive Officer, Marco Bassetti.


    Marco Bassetti comments: “Lars is a great addition to our evolving global team. Having been at the forefront of the non-English language scripted operations at ESG, he is well-versed in building partnerships and maximising on investments in this arena and now, with an even broader portfolio of businesses, there is now doubt he can further develop our offering of high-quality content with cross-border appeal.”


    Lars Blomgren comments:“It is an honour to lead this unrivalled network of scripted producers whose work I so admire. With exceptional talent and a sharp, co-ordinated strategy which encourages independence and collaboration, we are in a brilliant position to offer bold and original programming to all broadcasters and platforms.  I am very much looking forward to working with old friends and getting to know new ones across the business.”


    Banijay’s non-English language scripted entities now span the Nordics, Germany, Benelux, France, Iberia, Belgium, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia and India.