ITV Studios has taken a minority stake in Apple Tree Prods., the Danish production company formed by Piv Bernth and Lars Hermann, who pioneered the Nordic Noir genre and count “The Killing” and “The Bridge” among their credits.
Bernth and Hermann are formerly of Danish pubcaster DR and formed Apple Tree earlier this year, stating at the time that they were in talks with a major international partner. They will be joined at their fledgling scripted firm by former DR drama producers Anders Toft Andersen, Karoline Leth and Dorthe Riis Lauridsen.
ITV Studios has been actively investing in production companies in Europe and the U.S., feeding a pipeline of content to its distribution arm, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which will exclusively sell all Apple Tree shows as part of the deal announced Tuesday.
Maria Kyriacou, president, ITV Studios, International, said: “Since the phenomenal success of ‘The Killing,’ the global appetite for the Nordics’ very distinctive style of storytelling has grown and grown. Right at the heart of this boom have been Piv and Lars. We are delighted that they will now be part of ITV Studios’ growing international network of drama producers.”
Bernth and Hermann added in a statement: “We are all extremely excited about the partnership between ITV Studios and Apple Tree Prods. and for the potential for collaboration with creative talent within ITV’s family of international scripted production companies.”
The pair are noted for bringing dark and moody Nordic crime to international screens. The Nordic Noir genre is, however, moving on in terms of tone and subject matter, as seen in “Ride Upon the Storm,” DR’s series about a family of priests. It is made by Studiocanal-backed SAM Prods., which “Borgen” creator Adam Price launched with “The Killing” creator Soren Svestrup.
“ITV and Apple Tree Prods. share the same ambition to make Danish and Nordic drama series of the highest quality,” Bernth and Hermann said. “Our goal is to continuously create outstanding drama series together with the most talented Nordic writers, directors and producers.”