Sky Studios Signs Deals With 'Agatha Raisin' Producer, Iceland's Sagafilm

Agatha Rasin
Sky One

Sky will develop and produce series together with Free@Last TV and Sagafilm, which NBCUniversal Global Distribution will sell worldwide.

Sky Studios, the in-house production division of Comcast-owned European pay TV giant Sky, has signed up two European shingles to multiyear development and distributor deals, inking agreements with British company Free@Last TV and Iceland's Sagafilm.

Free@Last TV is best-known for its crime comedy series Agatha Raisin, starring Scottish actress Ashley Jensen, currently in its third season on Sky One. Its in-development slate includes the miniseries The Flight of the Falcon, based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier.

Sagafilm is one of the leading production companies in Scandinavia, with a roster of Nordic noir series, including Stella Blomkvist and Case. Upcoming projects include drama series The Minister and Thin Ice, a global warming thriller being co-produced with Sweden's Yellow Bird, producers of the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Under the multiyear deals, Sky Studios will work with Sagafilm and Free@Last TV to co-develop and produce scripted series. NBCUniversal Global Distribution, also part of the Comcast family, will be handling international sales on the resulting projects.

Sky Studios was launched earlier this year as a pan-European production unit to create new original series for Sky's pay-TV channels in the U.K., Ireland, Italy and German-speaking Europe, as well as for other services owned by Sky parent company Comcast, including NBCUniversal's channels worldwide.

Sky has had phenomenal success with its original series Chernobyl, a co-production with HBO, and has enjoyed commercial and critical hits with European series, including Das Boot, Babylon Berlin and Italian mafia drama Gomorrah. Jude Law-starrer The Third Day, another co-production with HBO, is currently in production.

Sky has an annual original programming budget of around $650 million that it has promised to continue to grow and has made it clear it wants to back more high-end European productions that can play both on the group's in-house channels as well as streaming services worldwide.