International Newswire: ‘The Killing’ Producer Piv Bernth to Set Up Production Company

Piv Bernth attends the 44th International
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/REX/Sh

In today’s International Newswire, “The Killing” producer Piv Bernth leaves DR to set up production company Apple Tree, Lionsgate sells Kyra Sedgwick drama series “Ten Days in the Valley” to several international broadcasters, Kew buys non-scripted TV distributor TCB, and Viacom names Guillermo Borensztein as VIMN’s VP of content sales and co-productions.

Piv Bernth, the legendary producer of “The Killing” and head of drama at Denmark’s DR when it made “The Bridge” and “Borgen,” is leaving the public broadcaster to set up her own production company, Apple Tree Productions. She will be joined by the deputy head of DR Drama, Lars Hermann, and three DR producers, Dorte Riis Lauridsen, Anders Toft Andersen and Karoline Leth.

One key to DR’s huge drama success has been that it could raise a large part of the budget for a series, which allowed for forward planning. But times have changed. Just as “Borgen” show-runner Adam Price set up SAM Productions, in which Studiocanal has a 25% stake, and has signaled that his next drama after “Ride Up the Storm” will surely be in English, negotiations are under way with a major international partner to join Apple Tree, a brief press statement said Thursday.

That will most probably give Apple Tree both co-finance muscle and, crucially, international distribution. 2007-12’s “The Killing,” or BBC’s purchase of it, heralding the breakthrough of Nordic Noir into the international market. But don’t expect a sudden splurge of dark murder thrillers from Apple Tree. As the world has moved into Nordic Noir, Bernth has largely moved out. Her most recent big production, the Price show-run “Ride Upon the Storm,” turns on modern faith, not seamier psychopaths.

Lionsgate has licensed the drama series “Ten Days in the Valley,” starring Emmy-winner Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”), to a host of international broadcasters ahead of Mipcom.

The series, which is produced by Skydance Television’s Uncharted label for ABC, has been acquired by Canal Plus in France, Yes in Israel, MNET in South Africa, OTE in Greece and Telecom in Italy.

Sedgwick plays Jane Sadler, an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a separation. “Her life is turned upside down when her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. Just like her controversial police TV show, everything is a mystery, everyone has a secret, and no one can be trusted,” according to a statement.

Lionsgate’s lineup of high-end drama at Mipcom includes “Little Women,” starring Emily Watson, Angela Lansbury and Michael Gambon, and created by Heidi Thomas, best-known for hit series “Call the Midwife.”

Kew Media Group, which incorporates the distribution company formerly known as Content Media Corporation, has acquired London-based non-scripted television distribution company TCB Media Rights for £6.3 million ($8.36 million) in cash and stock. TCB was founded in 2012 by industry veteran Paul Heaney.

Kew CEO, Steven Silver, said: “TCB will continue to operate as it has been, since we intend to maintain the distributor’s boutique feel and producer-oriented focus, but now with increased resources for greater content development opportunities.”

TCB’s Mipcom slate includes “When TV Goes Horribly Wrong,” “Stalkers,” “Wings of War,” “World’s Wildest Weather,” “The Private Lives of the Monarchs,” “Kitten Rescuers” and “Caught on Dashcam.”

Furthering the fusion of Telefe with owner Viacom, which purchased the leading Argentine TV network last November for $345 million, Viacom Intl. Media Networks The Americas has named Guillermo Borensztein as its VP of content sales and co-productions. Integrating Telefe content with VIMN Americas, which includes Viacom’s Nickelodeon, Paramount Channel, MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central brands, VIMN Americas’ content appeals to demos from pre-school through to primetime adult drama, said VIMNA president Pierluigi Gazzolo. Bulwarked by this fuller product spread, Borensztein will lead the sales and co-production charge in Latin America as VIMN Americas seeks to bolster its presence in a — in TV terms — still dynamically expanding region.