‘Midnight Sun’ Producers Prepare First English-Language TV Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

Nice Drama’s ‘Andersonville’ is set in 1910 Chicago

Henrik Jansson Schweizer, Nice Drama, Sweden
Courtesy: Nice Drama

Nice Drama, the Swedish producer of “Midnight Sun,” is preparing “Andersonville,” its first English-lingo TV drama.

The series will be set in 1910 Chicago, Henrik Jansson-Schweizer, Nice Drama founder and creative director, told Variety. The original 8-10 part one-hour show will be created by Jansson-Schweizer with his long time collaborator Morgan Jensen (“Thicker than Water “).

“Andersonville” is a “thrilling Nordic noir series and dark family drama,·said Jansson-Schweizer. It unspools in Chicago’s Swede Town 1910, in the middle of its immigration boom and rambunctious growth, just before Al Capone and other famous gangsters roamed the city. The story focuses on the Ericson family, three Swedish siblings who migrated to Chicago in search of the American dream.

“It’s a drama about immigrants achieving success, prosperity and identity in a foreign country,” said Jansson-Schweizer, commenting that the scripted series aspired to be more than a thriller or a crime drama: “The universal themes have more to do with the human condition, and the nature of society where law, political interests and cultures clashes.”

Jansson-Schweizer and Jensen have just finalized the pilot episode and are looking at the best options to produce the ambitious premium show. Production is estimated to start in 2018.

The move shows one of Scandinavia’s most significant TV production houses raising its international ambitions as Scandinavian scripted TV production scales up in production levels and global audiences. That is one reason why Norway’s Haugesund Festival is this year, for the first time, programming TV series.

“Andersonville” will be a major step forward for the Swedish production co owned by MTG Group, which has successfully delivered high-calibre movies and TV series for the domestic and international markets over the last five years. More recent credits  range from the 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” – both co-produced with FLX – and the TV shows “Thicker than Water” and “Midnight Sun.

Produced with Nice Drama and Lagardere’s Atlantique Production in France, backed by Swedish public broadcaster SVT and Gallic pay TV giant Canal Plus “Midnight Sun” was one of Vivendi’s biggest series last year as it drives into content aimed at European audiences and beyond.

The next Nice Drama production due to open domestically on Aug. 16 is the docu biopic “Superswede. “about late Formula 1 Swedish legend Ronnie Peterson. Local distributor NonStop Entertainment has booked one of the country’s biggest screen-counts ever – over 200 locations – for a documentary film.

Jansson-Schweizer, who makes his directorial debut on “Superswede,” said: “Ronnie Peterson was my childhood hero. I had posters of him and small Formula 1 cars to play with. He was the Zlatan Ibrahimovic of the 1970-80s.”

F1 racing champions and Ronnie Peterson contemporaries interviewed by the director include Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sir Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti, Jody Scheckter and John Watson. The film is co-produced by the Nordic streaming giant Viaplay, like Nice Drama’s upcoming Nordic noir series “Hassel,” starring Ola Rapace (“Skyfall”). The reboot of the Roland Hassel investigations, based on Swedish author Olov Svedelid’s novel series, will debut exclusively on Viaplay on Sept. 8. Co-producer Beta Film handles world distribution.