PARIS — Netflix has bought the first two seasons of hit Swedish dramedy series “The Bonus Family” (“Bonusfamiljen”) for global distribution outside of Scandinavia.
“The Bonus Family” was produced by FLX, the outfit behind Swedish blockbuster “The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window And Disappeared” and its sequel “The 101-Year Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared,” which Netflix co-produced and streamed worldwide (outside of Scandinavia and Germany) in December. “
Felix Herngren, who penned and directed both “The 100 Year-Old Man” and “The 101 Year-Old Man,” co-created “The Bonus Family” with his second wife Clara Herngren, his sister Moa Herngren and a screenwriter Calle Marthin.
Netflix acquired global exclusive rights to the series outside of Scandinavia where it picked up second window rights. Netflix will therefore market the show as a Netflix Original outside of the Nordics.
A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the acquisition and said the series “will be coming to Netflix later this year and [will be] enjoyed by [Netflix] members around the world.”
The series follows four characters who have gone through separations and face new challenges as they start relationships with new partners who have children. “The show centers on these characters who face all these challenges, from moving together, raising each others’ kids and coping with exes,” explained Pontus Edgren, managing partner at FLX.
“In Sweden, which surely is one of the most politically-correct countries in the world, we don’t say step-dad or step-mom anymore because it has a negative connotation; instead we say ‘bonus dad’ or ‘bonus mom,'” said Edgren, referring to the title of the series which he said weaves a lot of personal stories and manages to have a very universal appeal.
NBC, which aired “Welcome to Sweden,” another series produced by FLX, is also developing a U.S. version of “The Bonus Family.”
The first season of “The Bonus Family” just finished airing on Swedish broadcaster SVT and pulled outstanding ratings (one million viewers on average) on primetime Monday. Edgren said the performance of “The Bonus Family” was particularly strong for a Swedish comedy-drama series which usually get between 700,000 and 800,000 viewers, whereas crime shows generally pull the highest ratings. The show was the most-watched show on SVT Play, the broadcaster’s catch-up service, this spring.
“The Bonus Family” was commissioned by Swedish pubcaster SVT, and was pre-bought across the Nordics by NRK in Norway, YLE in Finland, DR in Denmark and RUV in Iceland.
Netflix previously acquired Scandinavian series such as “Rita,” the Danish comedy-drama created by Christian Torpe, and “Lilyhammer,” the American-Norwegian show created by and starring Steven Van Zandt. Netflix also recently commissioned “The Rain,” a thriller drama produced by Miso.
“The 101 Year-Old Man,” which marks FLX’s first partnership with Netflix, turned out to be the highest grossing Swedish language film at the local B.O. in 2016 and sold 675 000 tickets in theaters. Nice Drama co-produced both pics.