The glitzy, sun-soaked playground of the Canary Islands will offer the surprising backdrop for a new series from Anagram Norway, which will be bringing a slick crime drama to the Co-Pro Pitching Sessions at the Series Mania Forum early next month.
Set in the mid-‘90s, “Crimeshare” is based on the real-life story of Bjørn Lyng, a Norwegian entrepreneur who decided to construct the most luxurious timeshare complex ever built on the Canary Islands. But the plan goes awry when it attracts the attention of John “Goldfinger” Palmer, a notorious British mobster whose own designs on the sun-drenched paradise threaten to destroy Lyng’s dream.
Anagram’s Ole Marius Araldsen says the story arrived at the company’s doorstep from an unexpected source: Lyng’s own son-in-law, who’d married and lived on the Canaries before moving back to Norway—only to return to investigate a friend’s suspicious death. “It’s not a very famous story in Norway, and that’s what makes it so appealing to us,” says Araldsen.
Araldsen and co-creator Anne Kolbjørnsen are working on a pilot script and a treatment for the first 10-episode season. They hope to begin shooting in 2019.
The duo launched Anagram Norway last year after leaving Rubicon, the company behind Netflix’s “Lilyhammer.” Their first series, “Milk,” was produced for MTV in 2017. The company is also in production on thriller drama “Kieler Street” for TV2 Norway, which distributor ITV will bring to Mipcom this fall.
“Crimeshare” reflects their efforts to find a niche in the increasingly crowded arena of Scandinavian drama.
“With all these Nordic Noir series coming from Scandinavia, it’s really nice to have this blue-sky crime series coming from the Canary Islands, where you discover the dark underbelly of the island,” says Araldsen. “It has crime elements, it has thriller elements, and it has a great love story as well. There’s so many layers to this story.”
Kolbjørnsen notes that the cosmopolitan nature of the Canaries, a popular vacation destination for sun-starved Scandinavian, British and German tourists, makes “Crimeshare” a particularly attractive project for foreign co-producers.
“This is the perfect story, and it’s natural to have a co-production because there is an international [angle],” says Kolbjørnsen, adding that Anagram will be looking to meet with potential distributors and co-producers and discuss pre-sales while in Lille.
“There are so many different ways to put a partnership together for this project,” she says. “We think it has a lot of potential.”