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Walter Presents Snags Scandi Thriller ‘Greyzone’ for U.K.

Co-founder Walter Iuzzolino sees the series as a move away from the “moody detective drama” Scandinavia is known for, and towards something ambitious and sleek

LILLE, France — Walter Presents, one of Europe’s barometers for cool in international TV sales, announced today at Series Mania that it has secured the U.K. rights to the Scandinavian thriller “Greyzone.”

Since its launch on commercial channel TV2, the series has competed head-to-head with DR’s flagship series “Liberty,” in the 8pm Thursday night slot, with “Liberty” winning the timeslot, but each enjoying favorable ratings, as well as audience and critical praise. According to the Nordisk Film & TV Fond news site, “Greyzone” opened with a 28% market share, and a satisfaction evaluation of 4.1 out of a possible 5.

Set in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Frankfurt, the series follows Victoria, played by “Borgen” star Brigitte Hjort Sørensen, a drone engineer who is taken hostage by a group of terrorists. Before being abducted, she manages to get a message to the secret services about a potential attack on Scandinavian soil.

With its multiple narrative locations and far-reaching themes, the series is a shining example of European co-production, with Denmark, Sweden and Germany all partnering.

The series is produced by Cosmo Film, one of Denmark’s premier film companies; co-producers include TV2 Denmark, TV4 Sweden, C More Sweden, ZDFnew, NRK Norway, SF Studios Sweden, Nadcon Film and ITV Studios Global Entertainment. The series is supported by the Public Service Fund, the Swedish Film Institute, Copenhagen Film Fund, Creative Europe Program and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. It was created by a team of Scandinavian writers and producers: Oskar Sӧderlund (“Offside”), Morten Dragsted (“Those who Kill”) and Rasmus Thorsen (“Midsummer”).

“After being boxed for too many years into the ‘dead girl and moody detective’ corner,’ Scandi drama is in the midst of a sensational phase of creative reinvention,” Walter Presents co-founder and curator Walter Iuzzolino said in a statement.

“‘Greyzone’ is a perfect example of this: an ambitious, glossy and utterly compelling thriller which completely subverts the ‘Homeland’-style premise of a terrorist plot to tell the powerful and affecting story of the ambiguous relationship between a hostage and her captor.”

He went on: “Nothing is as it seems in this complex moral world in which good and evil are just two sides of the same coin. This is Nordic drama at its very best: Sexy, fun, commercial and crafted with exquisite artistic vision and depth of feeling.”

Thorsen, also a producer on the series, said: “I’m really excited that ‘Greyzone’ will be coming to the U.K. The level of ambition for this series has always been high and with an international audience in mind. We are thrilled to be partnering with Walter Presents, and together really looking forward to having a British audience engaging in our story and our characters.”

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