TV2 Norway builds homegrown drama

TV2 in Norway is focusing on producing homegrown fiction series after creating a new drama department.

Christopher Haug

Christopher Haug

Four years ago, Christopher Haug joined TV2’s programming team to lead its push for new original drama, leading to series such as Meglerne (aka Brokers), Det tredje øyet (The Third Eye) and Frikjent (Acquitted).

Now the broadcaster has appointed Haug as head of drama, and he will lead a new separate drama department that will invest in more Norwegian hits.

Haug will report to programme director Jarle Nakken and begins his new role on August 1.

Ariane Krampe sets up own indie

German producer Ariane Krampe has launched an independent production company to develop television series for Germany and international markets.

Ariane Krampe Filmproduktion, which is based in Gruenwald near Munich, will be part of the Beta Film group, led by Jan Mojto.

Krampe has worked with Bavaria Film, UFA Fiction, and Zeitsprung, and in 1998 founded TeamWorx with Nico Hofmann and Wolf Bauer.

She was behind Berlin Wall event movie The Tunnel in 2001, as well as kidnapping drama Dance with the Devil.

The first projects, details of which have not been disclosed, will begin shooting this summer.

BBC head of drama exits for JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot

The BBC has begun its search for a new controller of drama commissioning after Ben Stephenson confirmed he will join JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions.

Ben Stephenson

Ben Stephenson

Stephenson will take up the position of head of television with the US firm, whose hits include Lost and Person of Interest.

Appointed to lead BBC Drama in 2008, Stephenson has overseen a remarkable slate of series totalling more than 450 hours.

His recent credits include Sherlock, Call the Midwife, Luther, Happy Valley, The Missing, and Wolf Hall.

Winter is coming to A+E Studios

A+E Studios has signed a first-look development deal with producer Rachel Winter.

Under the deal, which covers series and other forms of scripted drama, Winter will work with A+E Studios to develop, create and produce original drama for A+E Networks’ channels, including A&E, Lifetime, and History, and other networks.

Winter recently signed on to executive produce Anne Rice’s The Sleeping Beauty erotic novels for Televisa USA.

She is also producing an ABC drama pilot starring Felicity Huffman, who also produces, about the fearless leader of a team of young agents on the New York City Joint Terrorism Task Force.

FX pockets Shiny Penny

US cable network FX has signed a first-look production deal with Django Unchained and Erin Brokovich producer Stacey Sher.



Sher’s production label Shiny Penny has agreed a two-year deal, which covers all projects developed for FX Networks.

She is currently producing AMC’s upcomig martial arts drama Badlands.

Shiny Penny includes executive vice president Coco Francini, and new creative director Emily Levitan.

BBCWW finds new head of drama

BBC Worldwide has appointed a new head of drama.

Damian Keogh, who began work last month, will manage projects for both BBC Drama England and BBC Drama Wales, and a selection of independent producers.

He will report to Martin Rakusen, commercial director for drama, and replaces Chris Stewart, who joined Zodiak Rights last year.

Previously, Keogh was a director for Skyworks, which is known for its World from Above series.

SVT’s Thicker than Water back for second season

Swedish drama Tjockare än vatten (aka Thicker than Water) has won a second season.

Tjockare än vatten

Tjockare än vatten

The series, which is commissioned by SVT, follows the three Waldemar siblings who inherit their mother’s guesthouse on the condition that they must run the guest house together for a whole summer.

In season two, the siblings are now co-owners of the guest house and their mother’s estate. But some unexpected events threaten their family and the guesthouse’s future.

The cast includes Björn Bengtsson, Joel Spira, and Aliette Opheim.

Tjockare än vatten, created by Henrik Jansson-Schweizer, is produced by Nice Drama in association with SVT, Finland’s YLE and Filmpool Nord.

The executive producers are Jansson-Schweizer, Mikael Wallén, and Stefan Baron, and the producer is Malte Forssell.

It is written by Jansson-Schweizer, Morgan Jensen, Charlotte Lesche, and Veronica Zacco.

Filming on season two will begin this month and it is due to air in 2016.

Meanwhile, Nice Drama parent Nice Entertainment Group has appointed Stefan Baron as head of international coproductions.

He will be responsible for global financing of the group’s drama projects, and will be an executive producer for Nice Drama.

Baron was most recently drama coproduction executive at SVT.

A+E Studios pacts with Vikings’ Michael Hirst

A+E Studios has signed a first-look development deal with Vikings creator Michael Hirst.



As part of the deal, Hirst will work with A+E Studios to develop, create and produce original drama series for A+E Networks’ channels, including A&E, Lifetime, and History, which airs Vikings.

He will also pitch series to outside broadcasters.

Hirst is the creator and executive producer of Vikings, which is now in its third season on History. He has also written every episode of the series.

He also created, executive produced and wrote every episode of The Tudors.

FremantleMedia International hires for drama push

FremantleMedia International is plotting to strengthen its primetime drama slate with a new hire.

The distributor has appointed Georgia Brown as senior vice president of scripted.

Brown will work with Fremantle’s distribution teams to build demand for new drama projects and work with third-party writers and producers to deliver them.

She will report to CEO Jens Richter.

The former Shine International executive will also report to Sarah Doole as part of the global drama team, where she will work with the in-house teams to develop projects and bring them to the market.

Brown was previously senior vice president of acquisitions at Shine, where she worked on series including Broadchurch and Code of a Killer.

Studio Lambert builds drama team

Studio Lambert has found the person to lead its march into drama production for networks in the UK and the US.

Studio Lambert

Studio Lambert

Former BBC executive Susan Hogg has been named head of drama and president of scripted programming.

The hire comes two weeks after Studio Lambert chief executive Stephen Lambert announced plans to launch a drama department.

Hogg was previously a senior drama executive producer for BBC Production, with credits including Five Daughters, Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise, Survivors, Waking the Dead, and The Fades.

Before joining the BBC, she was head of drama at Granada Television, overseeing shows including Grafters and A&E. Hogg was also one of the founding executives of United Productions, the studio behind Where the Heart Is, Touching Evil, and No Child of Mine.