×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Simon Fuller to Bring ‘Shame’ to American, Canadian Audiences

“American Idol” creator Simon Fuller is bringing “Shame” to TV. Fuller’s XIX Entertainment has inked a deal with Norwegian broadcaster NRK for the rights to the format for teen-centric series “Skam” (“Shame,” in English), and XIX will be developing an English-language version of the show for American and Canadian audiences.

“There is precious little content created primarily for a teen audience and ‘Shame’ provides this with great honesty and integrity,” Fuller said. “This show packs a punch and is leading the way in exploring multi-platform story telling.” The show follows a group of 16-year-old girls in Oslo as they navigate the increasingly complex social waters of secondary school. The series, entering its fourth season in Norway, doesn’t shy away from tackling subjects like date rape, sexual abuse, and binge drinking.

The Norwegian format is unlike anything that’s been attempted for American audiences: Chunks of episodes are produced on a daily basis and distributed via the internet (primarily watched on mobile devices), then packaged together at the end of the week, running online and broadcasting on NRK3 — a true mobile-first approach. That’s because the target audience of “Skam” is girls aged 16-19, a cohort that spends many of its waking hours online, and most of that time on mobile devices. Consequently, “Skam” is a big hit online, drawing around 200,000 viewers per episode; 1.26 million people are tuning in on TV every week, out of a population of 5 million.

But NRK had previously encountered some difficulty selling the format to international distributors, according to Norwegian English news source the Local, citing concerns over the risqué content.

If the scenario feels familiar, that’s because the U.K.’s edgy teen dramedy “Skins” had a similar journey. MTV ordered an American version of the series that was dogged by critiques of its portrayals of teen sexuality and party culture, despite MTV’s toning down of the controversial content. The American series was canceled after one season.

Fuller hasn’t revealed whether the American version of “Skam” will follow the exact same mobile-first format, but a spokesperson for XIX said Fuller will be working closely with NRK to duplicate the “essence” of the original production.

“A lot of people in the TV industry have got their eyes on ‘Skam’ this fall,” said NRK’s head of youth TV Haaokn but no one has got a vision as Simon Fuller. He wants to be true to the original idea and make ”Shame” a series that can change the rules in the American TV market. We´re honored he wants to take “our baby” to the next international level.”

More TV

  • Point Horror Books

    HBO Max to Develop Anthology Series Based on 'Point Horror' Books (EXCLUSIVE)

    HBO Max is developing a series based on Scholastic’s “Point Horror” books, Variety has learned exclusively. The project hails from Picturestart and Lionsgate Television, with Picturestart under an overall deal at the studio. The show, which is currently titled “Point Fear,” is described as an anthology series that exposes the horrors of being a teenager. Each [...]

  • The Mandalorian

    TV Review: 'The Mandalorian' on Disney Plus

    SPOILER ALERT: This review discusses some spoilers for the first episode of Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian.” A vicious killer with a tragic past and the faint glimmers of a beating heart is no stranger to television, a medium particularly suited to telling winding stories about rises, falls and redemptions. And yet it’s still something of [...]

  • Roger and Cowan Promotions

    Rogers & Cowan/ PMK Promotes Executives in Entertainment Division

    Rogers & Cowan/PMK has promoted Lindsay Galin, Jeff Raymond, Dennis Dembia, Michael Donkis, and Marian Koltai-Levine to executive positions in its entertainment division. Galin and Raymond have been named co-presidents of talent. Dembia and Donkis have been promoted to co-presidents of entertainment and business strategy, and Koltai-Levine will serve as president of film, content and [...]

  • Laura Dern Actors on Actors

    Laura Dern's Mother, Diane Ladd, Didn't Want Her to Act

    Laura Dern has wanted to act since she was seven years old, and, coming from acting parents including father Bruce Dern and mother Diane Ladd, one may think her parents encouraged the propensity. But according to Dern, that wasn’t the case. “They didn’t want me to,” the “Marriage Story” actress told Sterling K. Brown during [...]

  • DANCING WITH THE STARS - "2019

    TV Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' Boosted by Sean Spicer Exit

    Sean Spicer waved goodbye to “Dancing With the Stars” last night, but ABC waved hello to a pretty big bump in the show’s rating and total viewership. Monday night’s episode scored a 1.0 rating and 7.2 million total viewers, up roughly 25% from last week’s 0.8 and 6.2 million. The former White House press secretary’s [...]

  • Studio Lambert Inks Development Deal With

    Studio Lambert Strikes Deal With ‘The Masked Singer’ Showrunner Izzie Pick Ibarra

    Studio Lambert is linking up with Izzie Pick Ibarra, the showrunner and exec producer of Fox’s “The Masked Singer.” The development deal will see All3Media-backed Studio Lambert and Pick Ibarra work together on new projects and others already in the works at Stephen Lambert’s shingle. Having relocated from the U.K. to the U.S. 15 years [...]

  • WGA Strike Labor Talks

    How the Streaming Revolution Is Making Guild Negotiations Even More Complicated

    It may not be a perfect storm yet, but ominous clouds are gathering. As the winter holidays approach, there’s growing agita across the industry about the potential for substantial labor strife next year. The WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA are gearing up for master film and TV contract negotiations with the major studios at a time [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content