NBC Acquires Greg Poehler's 'Welcome to Sweden'

5:00 AM PST 10/08/2013 by Sophie Schillaci
Greg Poehler

The half-hour comedy from Entertainment One will feature cameos by Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Aubrey Plaza and KISS' Gene Simmons.

NBC is getting into business with Amy Poehler's little brother, Greg Poehler.

The network has acquired the new half-hour comedy series Welcome to Sweden, executive produced by the sibling team of Amy and Greg Poehler and starring the latter, from Entertainment One. The series will feature cameo appearances from the Parks and Recreation star, as well as Will Ferrell, Aubrey Plaza and KISS frontman Gene Simmons.

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Created by Greg Poehler, Welcome to Sweden is a fish-out-of-water tale based on the former lawyer's personal life. New York accountant Bruce (Poehler) falls in love with a Swedish girl named Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) and follows her to Sweden. Lena Olin, Illeana Douglas and Patrick Duffy also star as the couple's respective parents.

The series was originally commissioned by Sweden's TV4 as the network's first-ever English-language series. The Poehler siblings formed production company Syskon (Swedish for "sibling") and inked a deal in May with TV4 for the English-language comedy. eOne began pitching the series to U.S. broadcasters and cabler networks in May.

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"This show is a 'first' on so many levels," said Carrie Stein, executive vp global production at eOne Television. "It's the first English-language comedy for TV4; the first television show Greg Poehler has ever created and starred in and executive produced with his sister Amy; and it's the first time NBC has been involved with a comedy shot in Stockholm with a large Swedish cast! The reason this comedy has attracted all these people is because its theme is universal: Love conquers all…even if it means moving to Sweden.”

Earlier this week at MIPCOM, the younger Poehler described the sibling rivalry with his sister. "While Amy was a struggling waitress, I was a winner," he said of their early career trajectories, but admitted of his legal career: "I was never comfortable in that world and in that suit."

Welcome to Sweden is a co-production between eOne, TV4, FLX and Syskon. Executive producers include Amy Poehler and Greg Poehler; Fredrik Arefalk for TV4; Carrie Stein for eOne; and veteran Swedish TV helmer/creator Felix Herngren for FLX. eOne handles the worldwide rights to the series in all media.

For eOne, Welcome to Sweden marks its latest series on U.S. television, joining The CW's Canadian import Seed, ABC's Rookie Blue, AMC's Hell on Wheels, DirecTV's Rogue and Syfy's Haven and Bitten, as well as Discovery's upcoming first original scripted miniseries, Klondike.

Meanwhile, for Parks and Rec's Poehler, Sweden marks the latest comedy the Emmy nominee will exec produce. Comedy Central recently handed out a series order to former web series turned 10-episode scripted comedy Broad City.

Lesley Goldberg contributed to this report.

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