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Endemol Studios Acquires U.S. Rights to Adapt French TV Series ‘Engrenages’

In the run-up to Mipcom, Endemol Studios, the L.A.-based scripted studio of Endemol North America, has come on board to produce an English-language adaptation of Canal Plus’ hit crime thriller “Spiral” (“Engrenages”) for U.S. television.

Produced by Paris-based Son et Lumiere in association with French cabler Canal Plus, “Engrenages” bowed on the paybox in 2005 and has been drawing critical acclaim and hit ratings. It’s fifth season will roll out next year and a sixth season already in development.

On top of being a local success, “Engrenages” is also an international sales hit, having sold and aired to high ratings in over 60 territories, notably in the UK, on BBC4, and in North America, where the first three seasons are available on Netflix.

The police drama centers on the tumultuous life of a femme captain and her two lieutenants, as well as judge, a prosecutor and a lawyer. Show follows the characters as they investigate murder cases and unveil corruption at the highest levels of the judicial system.

“’Engrenages’ offers a hyper-realistic take on the French judicial system,” said Philippe Maigret, Endemol Studios CEO. “The show’s masterfully complex storylines and layered characters give us the right blueprint to further explore society’s ever-changing codes of justice and develop a distinctive, un-apologetic, gripping television drama set against the backdrop of today’s U.S. legal system.”

Endemol Studios’ track record includes “Hell on Wheels,” “Low Winter Sun” and “Red Widow.” “Hell on Wheels” is now in its third season on AMC, “Red Widow,” is produced for ABC and “Low Winter Sun,” currently is in its first season on AMC. The studio’s development slate also boasts six projects set up at various networks.

The French show’ U.S. remake rights had previously been acquired by BBC Worldwide Prods.

“Engrenages” is yet another ambitious show developed by Fabrice de La Patelliere’s fiction department at Canal Plus. It’s also the latest in a string of shows with remake potential which have lured high-profile U.S. producers. For instance, HBO and Leverage are developing an English-language adaptation of “Maison Close.”

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