Banijay Rights secures scripted deal with Viaplay in US
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Ahead of the launch of its Viaplay streaming service in the US in late 2021, Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) has signed a package deal for more than a dozen Banijay Rights premium scripted titles.
Countrymen 16Dec 2021
The agreement is designed to give Viaplay subscribers in the US access to more than 250 hours of Banijay Rights’ critically acclaimed Nordic drama titles, including Norwegian culture-clash comedy Countrymen, which won the High School Best Series Prize and Special Interpretation Award for Cast at Canneseries last month.

The 8 x 60’ programme sees four men with dubious plans move to a farm in the rural Norwegian countryside where, more or less against their will, they end up as the founders of Norway's first halal cheesemaking business. Countrymen is a production from Banijay Norwegian label Rubicon for public broadcaster NRK in coproduction with Arte France.

The deal also includes A Class Apart (8 x 60’), a drama series from Banijay Swedish label Jarowskij. The series is set at Sweden’s top ranked boarding high school which is home to a secret society for the most affluent students, the Zebra Club. On the night of the new semester, the selected few indulge in the hazing of two new members. The following morning, one of them is found dead.
Both A Class Apart and Countrymen will be premiered in the North American market.

Among the other titles from the Banijay Rights catalogue included in the agreement with NENT Group are two seasons of Jarowskij thriller Black Lake (16 x 60’) and Dystopia (8 x 60’); seasons one to five of crime drama Gåsmamman (42 x 60’), from Banijay Nordics; the first two seasons of Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans (20 x 60’), from Matador Film and SVT; seasons one to six of Jarowskij TV4 series Solsidan (60 x 30’); The Councilman (10 x 30’) from Rubicon; and seasons one to nine of The Sandhamn Murders (15 x 60’ and 4 x 120’), produced by Filmlance International in coproduction with TV4, C More, ZDF, ZDF Enterprises with Endemol Shine International, TV2 Norge, DR and YLE.

In the US, Viaplay will also show the first two seasons of hit Swedish crime series Wallander (26 x 90’) from Banijay label Yellow Bird; and seasons one and two of Wallander UK (6 x 90’), which Yellow Bird coproduced along with Left Bank Pictures, TKBC with Masterpiece, TV4, Film i Skåne and the Copenhagen Film Fund. High-end crime drama Wisting (10 x 60’), from Cinenord and Good Company Films in coproduction with Viaplay, Degeto Film, TV3 Norway and Ripple World Pictures, also forms part of the NENT Group deal, as well as the first two seasons of The Third Eye (20 x 60’), from Banijay Nordics, and Yellow Bird’s The Truth Will Out (8 x 60’).

The scripted deal was brokered on behalf of Banijay Rights by Matt Creasey EVP Sales, acquisitions and co-productions – world excluding EMEA. Commenting on the deals he said: “Our catalogue contains a stunning range of premium stand-out Nordic titles including Norwegian sensation Countrymen and Swedish drama A Class Apart, and we are thrilled to be working with NENT Group to ensure this package deal will become a cornerstone of Viaplay’s launch in the US.”

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