PARIS– Chicago-based Music Box Films has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to Mabrouk El Mechri’s “Maison Close,” a provocative period drama series co-produced by Gaul’s Canal Plus.

The North American distributor has picked the first two seasons of the erotic drama series. Set in the 19th century in Paris, “Maison Close” toplines Jemima West, star of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” as an innocent young woman who gets trapped into an exclusive bordello and meets other women who struggle to regain their independence.

Series was produced by Jacques Ouaniche at Noe Productions International and was a ratings hit on Canal Plus, which commissioned and co-produced it.

The series is not a traditional period drama as El Mechri attempted to give it a modern edge with an eclectic and contempo musical score and a stylized mise-en-scene.

“The perfect mix of style and substance, ‘Maison Close’ offers up a richly compelling period drama with unmistakably modern sensibilities,” says Ed Arentz, Music Box Films’ managing director.

Deal was negotiated by Tamara Misert of France TV Distribution and William Schopf, prexy of Music Box Films.

“We are thrilled to have found such a good home for ‘Maison Close’ in Music Box Films, one of the key outlets for quality international content in North America, and excited that American audiences will have a chance to enjoy this edgy and provocative French drama series,” states Misert.

“Maison Close” is the newest addition to Music Box’s growing slate of cinematic foreign TV series and minis, including Sweden’s “Wallander,” Germany’s “Generation War,” Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Penance,” and France’s international Emmy award-winning “The Returned,” which bowed in October on Sundance Channel, and will be released by Music Box on DVD on Feb.11, before bowing on Netflix on Feb. 24.