Altice Boards Sky’s French Crime Series 'Riviera,' Starring Julia Stiles

Credit: Sky Atlantic
Julia Stiles

The co-production partnership is "a new step in our strategy to become a strong player in the production industry," says Altice Group CEO Michel Combes.

Sky Vision, the production and distribution arm of pay TV giant Sky, said Wednesday that European telecommunications firm Altice Group has come on board as co-producer of French crime series Riviera, starring Julia Stiles.

The 10-part drama thriller, set on France’s Cote d’Azur, was created by Oscar-winning writer Neil Jordan (The Crying Game). Castmembers include Lena Olin (Chocolat, The Reader), Adrian Lester (Undercover), Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) and Roxane Duran (White Ribbon).

Set against the backdrop of sun-drenched luxury, the series "explores the dazzling depravity of morally ambiguous characters and contrasts a Vanity Fair world of private jets, fine art and extravagant parties with its dark, dangerous and even deadly underbelly," according to a show description.

In the U.S., Altice is known for having acquired cable operator Cablevision Systems and a majority stake in cable firm Suddenlink. The co-production deal fits into its ambitions to develop original drama series and its previous announcement of the launch of a premium pay TV linear channel this summer.

Michel Combes, Altice Group’s CEO, said: “As part of Altice Group’s investment in original creation since Altice Studio’s launch in October 2016, this partnership with Sky Vision is a new step in our strategy to become a strong player in the production industry and to reach our ambition to propose the best series to our clients."

Zai Bennett, director of programming at Sky, said: “We’re so pleased to be co-producing the thrilling Riviera with our partners Altice. Original drama is key to Sky’s ongoing programming strategy and this smart, fun and sexy drama will add breadth to our already world-class offering on [our network] Sky Atlantic.”

Nora Melhli, director of original creation at Altice, added: “We are delighted to co-produce Riviera with Sky Vision and Archery Pictures. Collaborating again with [Sky's drama head] Anne Mensah on such a unique and ambitious drama is a very exciting adventure. Following the series Medicis, Sirens and Taken, Riviera will be a different and strong proposal for our audience.”

And Mensah said: “We really valued working with Nora Melhli on two seasons of The Tunnel, so we know Nora and Altice will be the perfect partners for delivering the glamor and thrills of Riviera.”

Riviera will have its world premiere TV screening at MIPTV in Cannes. Sky Vision is handling worldwide sales.