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Amazon Secures Global Rights to German Gangster Drama ‘4 Blocks’

Amazon Prime Video has secured global rights to “4 Blocks,” the Berlin-set gangster drama that world-premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. The six-part series, produced by TNT Serie and Wiedemann & Berg, was previously broadcast on TNT in Germany, Romania and Poland, where it garnered strong ratings.

“4 Blocks” will now be available worldwide on Amazon Prime Video starting Oct. 4. The initial rollout will span 150 countries, including the U.S., Canada and the U.K. In another 50 countries, including Germany, France and Russia, “4 Blocks” will be available from next summer.

The series focuses on Ali “Toni” Hamady, who wants to turn away from crime but who gets swept up in it again after his brother-in-law is arrested. Toni takes over as leader of the family syndicate, which is based in Berlin’s edgy Neukölln district.

“With ‘4 Blocks,’ we took the risk of financing a series almost entirely on our own, and also handling distribution sales for the first time. We believe we have found ideal partners with Amazon Prime Video and ZDFneo to make the series available globally via on-demand as well as on German free-to-air TV,” said Hannes Heyelmann, Turner’s senior VP and managing director in Central and Eastern Europe.

“These sales prove that our strategy of telling stories that are clearly locally rooted also work in international sales, and they enable us to invest even more in our productions going forward,” Heyelmann added.

Both deals were brokered by Lisette Schlippe, director of content licensing for Turner in Central, Eastern Europe and Canada.

Before heading to Amazon Prime Video, the series will air on ZDFneo, the German broadcaster ZDF’s digital channel aimed at viewers aged 25 to 49, starting Nov. 28. TNT plans to air the series in Sweden, Norway and Denmark starting on Nov. 2.

“4 Blocks” has been well-received by critics. After opening at the Berlinale’s TV sidebar, it played at the Series Mania Festival in Paris, where it won the best actor award for Kida Khodr Ramadan.

A second season will begin shooting this winter and is expected to be delivered later in 2018.

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