BBC Four Acquires More Foreign-Language TV

"In a Better World"
"In a Better World"
 Per Arnesen/Sony Pictures Classics/Everett Collection

LONDON -- BBC Four, the public broadcaster's arts and international drama channel, is continuing its ambition to be the home for high-end foreign-language drama with the acquisition of a Swedish thriller series and an Italian crime drama for its Saturday night schedule.

BBC Four said Monday it will air programs based on five novels by Arne Dahl, a pseudonym of the award winning author Jan Arnald, beginning with The Blinded Man.

The series revolves around a tight-knit team of elite specialists who investigate the dark side of society and is written for the screen by Rolf Borjlind and Cecilia Borjlind.

It is produced by Filmlance International in co-production with Sveriges Television, ZDF German Television Network, ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Filmregion Stockholm-Mälardalen, Nordisk Film Production.

Also snapped up by the BBC is Inspector Da Luca, a four-part crime series based on the novels by Carlo Lucarelli.

Set in and around Bologna during the tumultuous years of Mussolini’s dictatorship, Da Luca details the story of womanizing and brutally honest investigator over four parts. It is made by Ager 3/Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana.

BBC Four controller Richard Klein said: "These acquisitions are part of BBC Four’s ongoing mission to give viewers an excuse to stay in on a Saturday night by offering an entertaining alternative to Saturday television viewing. Arne Dahl continues in the tradition of The Killing and Wallander in portraying a social hinterland through the prism of the day-to-day of police investigation; and Inspector Da Luca is a clever and hugely entertaining drama that portrays wartime Italy in a way that is both very familiar to our own war time experiences and intriguingly foreign."

Acquired drama on a Saturday night has seen the slot grow more than threefold since 2009 with a 2.9 percent share of the audience in 2012 (compared with 0.9 percent audience share in 2009).

Also returning will be the third season of popular Danish political thriller Borgen and the second season of the Swedish and Danish set crime drama The Bridge, centered around an incident on the Oresund Bridge which links the two countries.

The channel has also snapped up movies for the channel including The Skin I Live In directed by Pedro Almodovar starring Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya.

Susanne Bier's Oscar and Golden Globe-winning film In a Better World, Norwegian prison drama The King of Devil’s Island and Point Blank, directed by Samuel Pierret will also air on the channel.

First aired on BBC Four, Denmark's The Killing was snapped up for remake rights by AMC and aired in the U.S. after international plaudits.

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