MIPCOM: Facebook Nabs Simon Fuller-Produced Version of Norwegian Teen Drama 'Skam'
The deal with XIX Entertainment will bring the English-language adaptation of the NRK series, which uses narratives in real time, to the social media giant.
Facebook has inked a deal with Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment to acquire Norwegian drama Skam (Shame) and adapt it for the social media platform.
Fuller earlier announced he would produce an English-language version, entitled Shame, based on the widely-acclaimed Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation series that has become one of Scandinavia’s most talked-about programs since its debut in 2015.
The multi-platform teen drama was to be produced by XIX Entertainment for the U.S. and Canada. Now Facebook, which unveiled the deal at MIPCOM in Cannes on Wednesday via head of creative global strategy Ricky Van Veen, will feature the new season of Skam on the social media giant's Watch platform.
U.S. production of the Shame adaptation is overseen by XIX in Los Angeles, with Fuller executive producing. Watch is available on mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV app.
"When I first heard about Skam, it felt like I was seeing the future of storytelling. We’re incredibly enthusiastic about bringing it to global audiences on Facebook Watch," Van Veen said. Known as Skam in Norway, the NRK series uses compelling narratives in real time with unknown actors and scripts that speak unflinchingly to a 16-year-old audience.
The show has received massive attention and ratings among young and adult audiences throughout Scandinavia. In Norway, the weekly audience has grown this year from 24,000 to 1.26 million (Norway’s total population is 5 million), outperforming most TV and streaming primetime hits in the Scandinavian country.
"From the first moment I heard about it, I thought about Facebook as my partner. Facebook Watch, with its inherently social components and passionate community of fans that surround it, is the absolute perfect partner for Skam," Fuller said.
Shame is designed by Fuller to offer a shared reality for its viewing audience through the web where each episode is first shown as it happens. Further chat, posts and social media uploads take place over the following days before the weekly TV show summarizes the storyline for the casual viewer.
The Norwegian-language version of Skam ran through four seasons on NRK in Norway.