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IQIYI Snaps up Hit Drama ‘My Brilliant Friend’ for China

Chinese streaming giant, iQIYI has snapped up China rights to acclaimed European drama series “My Brilliant Friend.”

The show is based on the first of a series of books by Elena Ferrante, set in a dangerous and fascinating Naples, and spanning a period over 60 years. It was presented by HBO (U.S.), and Italy’s Rai Fiction and Timvision, and began airing from Nov. 18.

The series is produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside, and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango, in collaboration with Rai Fiction, Timvision and HBO Entertainment, in co-production with Umedia. All the episodes are directed by Saverio Costanzo. The story and screenplays are by Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Costanzo. Paolo Sorrentino and Jennifer Schuur are the executive producers.

Distribution in international markets is handled by Fremantle, which has licensed it to over 130 territories. A second series, has already been green-lighted based on “The Story of a New Name” the second book in Ferrant’s four-book work.

“’My Brilliant Friend’ follows Elena Greco as the most important friend in her life seems to have disappeared without a trace. Elena a now-elderly woman immersed in a house full of books, turns on her computer and starts writing the story of their friendship with Raffaella Cerullo, whom she has always called Lila, in the first year of primary school in 1950,” said Fremantle.

“With its incredible scripts and iconic characters, ‘My Brilliant Friend’ has fast become one of the standout series of the year. Since its launch on HBO and Rai, it has received huge critical acclaim from reviewers,” said Haryaty Rahman, SVP, distribution Asia, international, Fremantle.

“Elena Ferrante’s masterpiece has been well recognized by Chinese readers for the past years. We are very much looking forward to introducing this brilliant TV adaptation to our users,” said an iQIYI spokesman.

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