Endemol lands big drama commission

Dutch pubcaster to air 'Glass House' in 2004

AMSTERDAM — Producer Endemol has won a 7 million euros ($8 million) commission from Dutch Channel 2 to produce “The Glass House,” one of the biggest TV contracts in Holland in the last two years.

Endemol Netherlands and Dutch production outfit Eyeworks TV will produce the cross between a drama and a soap about the country’s TV industry.

Johan Nijenhuis, one of Holland’s hottest film and TV talents, will be creative consultant. The series was commissioned by three of the biggest pubcasters, AVRO, TROS and BNN.

The series will be stripped Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 9 p.m. from September 2004 and will target 15-25-year-olds.

“It is the first weekend series ever launched in Holland, and it is the first time that the three pubcasters have backed such a big project together,” said Maarten Van Dijk, director of TV for BNN.

The Dutch pubcasters have been criticized in recent months for not meeting a commitment to produce more drama. “The only way you can afford to produce such drama is by cooperating with other broadcasters,” said Van Dijk.

Awarding the contract was not without drama of its own. Eyeworks took Endemol to court, claiming it had a contract with Nijenhuis to work together on a bid for the series and that Endemol had lured Nijenhuis away. Endemol and Eyeworks reached a court approved settlement in which they agreed to work together if either of them got the bid.

Nijenhuis has maintained he went to Endemol after realizing that Eyeworks, as a young company, did not have the experience to carry off such a big production.

His pics, especially “Costa” have been big box office draws. A former producer and director of Holland’s hottest soap, “Good Times Bad Times,” Nijenhuis is now at work on the second season of TV series “Costa.”

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