BBC Buys French Mystery Drama ‘Witnesses: A Frozen Death’

BBC Four is continuing its push into foreign-language drama by picking up French scripted series “Witnesses: A Frozen Death.”

The show follows on from “Witnesses,” the French drama series that helped create a profile for Gallic drama in international markets and that sold to more than 100 territories, including to Netflix in the U.S. In Britain, “Witnesses” aired on Channel 4, but the BBC has now nabbed the second season of the drama.

The eight-parter stars Marie Dompnier (“The Tunnel”) and Audrey Fleurot (“Spiral”), and follows events after the discovery of the frozen bodies of 15 men on an abandoned bus.

Dompnier is Lieutenant Sandra Winckler, who is assigned to the case,and discovers that all of the deceased are linked to one woman, Catherine Keemer, played by Fleurot. The mystery deepens when it emerges Keemer herself disappeared three years previously.

In France, “Witnessess: A Frozen Death” was on pubcast channel France 2. It was produced by Cinétévé and is distributed by Newen, which struck the BBC deal.

BBC Four is the U.K. pubcaster’s highbrow channel and has aired several foreign-language dramas in recent years, including “Trapped” from Iceland, “I Know Who You Are” from Spain, “Reformation” from Germany, and “Modus” from Sweden. From France, it has taken series including “The Disappearance.”

“’Witnesses: A Frozen Death’ will be the perfect mystery series for BBC Four viewers to delve into as the nights turn colder,” said Cassian Harrison, channel editor, BBC Four. “It’s especially exciting to welcome Audrey Fleurot back to the channel, co-starring in what is sure to be our next big hit French drama.”

Sue Deeks, BBC head of program acquisition, did the deal for the French series and said: “Its compelling mix of bold characters, sharp writing, atmospheric French setting and truly wonderful performances make this series the perfect new drama obsession for BBC Four viewers.”

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