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Broadcasters across Europe have signed on to do local adaptations of Shame (Skam), the Norwegian teen drama that has become a social media sensation at home and around the world.
The hit series, produced by public broadcaster NRK, follows the day-to-day lives of a group of teenage boys and girls hanging out in a suburb of the Norwegian capital Oslo.
The stories, which have been praised for their realistic portrayal of modern teen life, play out in real time, with the show’s characters also regularly publishing photos, updates and key plot events on their Instagram accounts. When something occurs in the story, the clip goes live at the same time as it happens for the characters — even in the middle of the night. The different storylines are wrapped up in a weekly webcast and on TV. This innovative social media approach has made the show a cult hit outside Norway.
Shame is produced by NRK and written and directed by Julie Andem. NRK and Germany’s Beta Film hold the international rights for the format.
Five European broadcasters have now commissioned their own versions of the series: France Televisions, Germany’s ZDF/funk, Moviestar+ in Spain, Timvision in Italy and NRT/NPO in the Netherlands. Producing partners include Banijay Studios France, Germany’s Bantry Bay, Dutch group NTR and Rome-based Cross Productions.
NRK executives and Germany’s Beta Film, which negotiated the adaptation deals, said they hand-selected each partner to ensure the local-language versions would have the same level of authenticity as the Scandinavian original.
“We are very excited about the tremendous interest that Skam/Shame has generated outside of Norway,” said NRK CEO Thor Gjermund Eriksen. “The creators of Skam aimed to help 16-year-old-girls strengthen their self-esteem through dismantling taboos, making them aware of interpersonal mechanisms and showing them the benefits of confronting their fears. This is a vision we are proud to bring to other countries.”