Fox TV Studios, Eyeworks Group Ink Scripted Development Pact for Scandinavian Writers

15 BIZ EXECUTIVE SUITE David Madden without bug
Kevin Scanlon

Fox Television Studios is looking for its next The Killing.

The studio has inked a development deal with Netherlands-based Eyeworks Group to develop scripted programming for the U.S. and international markets originating from Scandinavian writers, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The deal comes after FTVS has found success with The Killing, which was based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen and recently wrapped its third season on AMC.

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"After our fantastic experience developing and producing The Killing for AMC, which is based on the extremely successful Danish TV series Forbrydelsen, we have had the pleasure of finding projects from the best of Scandinavian literary and television culture," FTVS president David Madden said. "But we didn’t want simply to wait for finished product to come to us -- we wanted the opportunity to leap into the trenches with Scandinavian writers, and to develop stories from the ground up whose universal appeal would stem from their origins in the richness of Scandinavia's unique sensibilities. This deal offers FTVS access to gifted writers with fresh voices who are outside the traditional realm of Hollywood, and also allows us to work in partnership with Eyeworks from the idea stage, and to produce shows together that serve both US and international audiences."?

Added Eyeworks Group CEO Reinout Oerlemans: "While Eyeworks may be best known to American and international audiences for its breakout reality and factual entertainment unscripted series, the company has been emerging as a force in scripted drama, in both film and television, especially in Europe, and particularly in Spain, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavia. This deal with Fox TV Studios gives Eyeworks in Scandinavia and its talented writers the opportunity to develop for worldwide audiences."

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Los Angeles-based producer Melinda Jason and her company, Conspiracy -- with whom FTVS has a first-look pact -- was key in uniting the studio with Eyeworks. She will serve as an executive producer on all projects developed under the deal.

The pact comes as Danish imports continue to be big business. In addition to The Killing, FX has found success with the first season of The Bridge. The series, adapted from the Scandinavian drama I Bron, revolves around a pair of detectives from the U.S. and Mexico who work together to track down a serial killer operating on both sides of the American-Mexican border. The July 10 series premiere collected 5.07 million viewers. That figure, Nielsen's Live+Seven Day returns, marks a 67 percent jump from the original haul of 3.04 million viewers. Abroad, Shine America's The Bridge fared even better, recently launching to 3 million consolidated viewers in 19 metered pay TV markets and on track to bring in a total 4.5 million viewers. In addition, KCET is currently Borgen, an import from the BBC.

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