BERLIN — With a list of partners that includes Scott Free Prods., Sony Pictures Television, Peter Guber’s Mandalay Television, Sci Fi Channel and the Larry Sanitsky Co., Germany’s Tandem Communications is becoming a co-production and distribution partner of choice for Hollywood TV producers.
Rola Bauer and Tim Halkin’s Munich-based shingle is partnering with the U.K.’s Alchemy Television to handle worldwide sales for “The Company,” TNT’s upcoming miniseries based on Robert Littell’s bestselling novel about the CIA.
Produced by Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods., John Calley and Sony Pictures Television, the $38 million series explores the CIA during the Cold War, following the agency’s evolution through the eyes of idealistic agent Jack McCauliffe, played by Chris O’Donnell.
Playing McCauliffe’s German love interest is German thesp Alexandra Maria Lara (“Downfall”), who joins Michael Keaton, Alfred Molina, Tom Hollander, Rory Cochrane and Italian heartthrob Raoul Bova (“Alien vs. Predator”).
Ridley Scott and Calley had considered a bigscreen treatment for “The Company,” but ultimately decided on a TV miniseries. Skein is directed by Mikael Salomon (“Rome”) from a script by Ken Nolan (“Black Hawk Down”).
“The material is so rich, it just made more sense to do it for television,” says Bauer, who acquired rights to the project early on. “This is our first time working with Sony Pictures Television and Scott Free Prods., and it has been an amazing experience. Ridley Scott transcends boundaries and gets the best talent.”
German web Sat 1, the BBC in the U.K., French pubcaster France 2 and Spain’s Cuatro quickly nabbed the star-studded production. With German stars like Lara and Misel Maticevic, Bauer is expecting a surefire hit for German TV.
“The Company” is Tandem’s latest high-profile acquisition following a string of international hits that include CBS thriller “The Hades Factor,” “The Ring of the Nibelungs,” “Dune” and the Discovery Channel docu “James Cameron’s Expedition: Bismark.”
Bauer, a Canadian who was prexy of Alliance Intl. and a programming exec at German web ProSieben, attributes Tandem’s growing success to her experience in sales and TV, coupled with Halkin’s background in distribution. The native New Yorker oversaw marketing at Buena Vista Home Entertainment Germany before taking a post at ProSieben, where the pair met and joined forces to launch Tandem in 1999.
Tandem is also repping four TV movies based on the bestselling novels of Nora Roberts, produced by Mandalay for Lifetime Television. These include “Carolina Moon,” starring Claire Forlani (“Meet Joe Black”), Jacqueline Bisset and Oliver Hudson; and “Montana Sky” with Ashley Williams, Charlotte Ross, John Corbett and Diane Ladd.
The movie series has already sold to pubcaster ARD in Germany and France’s TF1.
In addition, for the Sci Fi Channel and ProSieben, Tandem is producing sci-fi actioner “Lost City Raiders” about submariners who explore sunken cities in a flooded, globally warmed Earth.