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ZDFE, Fuji TV Assemble Team for Soccer Drama ‘The Window’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Cannes – Germany’s ZDF Enterprises and Japan’s Fuji TV have picked their team for soccer drama “The Window.”

Mel Raido (“Deep State”), Tommy Bastow (“Agatha Raisin”), stage actor Samuel Jordan, Lynn Van Royen (“Tabula Rasa”), Jodie Tyack (“The Feed”), and Carole Weyers (“Grey’s Anatomy”) will all star in the show. It heads into production in the U.K. next week, before moving to Belgium and Malta.

Co-production is commonplace in the international drama market, but not among European and Asian partners. Having pacted, ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of German pubcaster ZDF, and Japanese broadcaster Fuji will share international sales duties.

The pair first worked up the idea of teaming on drama at Mipcom three years ago. They unveiled the cast and full team on the show at the 2019 edition of the TV market. Berlin-based production company Boogie Entertainment developed “The Window,” and will make it with Belgium-based Velvet Films.

BAFTA-winning British helmer and actor Adrian Shergold (“Mad Dogs”) has signed on to be the lead director. Claudia Garde (“Tatort”) and Pieter van Hees (“Versailles”) will also direct installments. Series creator and writer James Payne (“Mr. Selfridge”) has been been joined by writers Chris Gill (“The Hive”) and Mark Greig (“Bulletproof”).

The show takes an inside look at elite professional soccer and the business that surrounds it. Focusing on players, agents, club owners, administrators and journalists, the series explores the off-field machinations of the beautiful game. Specifically, it charts ten tense weeks in the life of Jordan Burdett, a humble 17 year old wonder kid who is on the wish list of every major club in Europe. What starts out as a tug-of-war over a young player’s first professional contract becomes a darker conspiracy drama with thriller elements.

“The series goes behind the scene and highlights both the strengths of football as a worldwide sport and its weaknesses,” said Fred Burcksen, president and CEO of ZDFE. “We are extremely proud and honored to be partnering with Fuji TV on this first ever European-Japanese scripted co-production.”

Speaking about the series, Toru Ora, senior executive managing director of Fuji Television Network noted research that found over 10,000 drama series are released worldwide annually. He said: “The fundamental question for us is how can we create new stories that will be noticed, connect with our audience, move them emotionally and give them joy among these 10,000 work? Our solution is the co-production of a large-scale drama series with ZDF Enterprises from Germany.”

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