AB Droits Audiovisuels buys 'Firm'
CANNES — AB Droits Audiovisuels, the acquisition arm of Gallic pay TV firm AB Group, has bought Canadian-U.S. drama series “The Firm” for French-speaking Europe and inked a first-look deal with eOne to acquire the studio’s next three original scripted series.Pact was announced Monday at MipTV in Cannes. A follow-up to John Grisham’s novel and helmer Sydney Pollack’s bigscreen adaptation, “The Firm” stars Josh Lucas and Molly Parker. It bowed on NBC in the U.S. in January. “EOne is one of world’s most ambitious and creative independent producers: they’re able to produce one or two high quality series per year,” Richard Moroko, AB Group’s exec VP of program, told Variety. AB Droits has also acquired Steve Van Zandt’s gangster drama “Lilyhammer” for French-speaking territories. Repped by Seven One Intl., the Norwegian-American TV skein bowed in the U.S. and Canada on Netflix on Feb.6. A second season has been commissioned by Norway’s net NRK and Netflix. Maroko said the Paris-based company intended to acquire premium product through volume deals, adding that AB will sell the drama series’ first window rights. AB Droits also has a volume deal with Endemol on fiction, recently acquiring “Hell on Wheels.” Meanwhile, AB Droits has joined Ben Silverman’s Electus to help secure a French licensing deal for “William the Conqueror,” an epic costumer series created by Pierre Morel (“Taken”) and Stewart Harcourt. “William,” which will have an estimated budget of $3 million per episode, will turn on William’s rise to power as Duke of Normandy and invasion of England in 1066.