Spain’s Telefonica has acquired a pair of critically acclaimed Scandinavian thriller series, “Below the Surface” and “Ride Upon the Storm,” from Studiocanal. Telefonica picked up the first two seasons of both shows, which will start airing on its premium series channels Movistar Series Xtra in December.
Produced by Denmark’s DR Fiktion in co-production with ARTE France and SAM Productions, “Ride Upon the Storm” won the Coup de Coeur at the 2017 MipTV Drama Screenings. The series, created by BAFTA-winning Adam Price, stars Lars Mikkelsen (“House of Cards”) and centers on the Krogh family, a family of priests, that traces its roots to more than 250 years ago.
“Below the Surface,” also from SAM Productions, is an eight-part crime thriller following 15 people who are taken hostage by three masked armed men in a subway train beneath Copenhagen. The series was created by Kasper Barfoed, while Søren Sveistrup (“The Killing”) and Adam Price served as creative producers.
Beatriz Campos, head of Studiocanal’s international sales, who brokered the deal, said Telefonica would “continue to be a great partner” for Studiocanal.” She said that Telefonica knows it “can rely on Studiocanal programming to deliver the high-end production values and strong narratives that are essential elements for [its] platform.”
Alex Martínez Roig, Movistar+ general manager of contents, said “both these dramas have just the right ingredients for our viewers – gripping storylines, intriguing characters and a powerful ‘look’.”
Martínez Roig added that Movistar+ previously aired all seasons of “Borgen,” another hit Scandi drama created by Price, which scored strong ratings. He expects that “Ride Upon the Storm” and “Below the Surface” will be “equally successful” even if they are “very different in setting and tone.”
Telefonica also recently acquired “Spotless,” “Section Zero” and Harlan Coben’s “The Five” from Studiocanal.