Banijay has poached HBO Max Nordic executive Christian Wikander to be its new global head of scripted.
Joining the group on May 1, Wikander will be in charge of spearheading strategic IP creation, driving collaboration across the business’ portfolio of over 50 drama labels, exploiting format potential, and identifying lucrative third-party acquisition opportunities. He will report to Marco Bassetti, Banijay CEO.
Wikander was previously commissioning editor and VP of original programming at HBO Max Nordic (Warner Bros. Discovery) since 2020. He was responsible for developing original scripted series across the entity’s Nordic footprint, partnering with creators, producers, and key talent, both locally and internationally.
Prior to this, Wikander was managing director for London-based Twelve Town, having joined in 2016 as head of drama for Europe. While at Twelve Town, Wikander led the company’s overarching business and IP strategy, and content pipeline, notably Viaplay’s “Conspiracy of Silence.“
“I feel a great sense of pride joining such a well-established, global group like Banijay,” said Wikander. “A collective of some of the best producers in the business, it is such a well-respected home for local stories that travel the world, and I look forward to collaborating with, and learning from, the brilliantly talented storymakers at the heart of it all,” Wikander continued.
Bassetti pointed that Wikander “has demonstrated not only his immense creative talent and agility as a leader, but importantly, his natural eye for recognizing a story with international potential,” having worked as a “commissioner, managing director and producer.”
“With him in place, we feel we have further opportunity to grow our premium scripted offering and heighten Banijay’s reputation as a leader in both local and English-language dramas that connect audiences worldwide,” added the executive.
Wikander will succeed to Lars Blomgren, the current global head of scripted, who is set to step down from his post in several months to focus on independent production. Blomgren was recently an executive producer on “Scenes from a Marriage.” He will remain Banijay part-time until May 1.
Banijay’s most recent scripted highlights include “SAS: Rogue Heroes” and “Marie Antoinette.”