GOTEBORG: Nordic territories will need to see an increase in the number of local commissioners and platforms if they are to adequately showcase flourishing scripted drama, industry experts agreed yesterday in Gothenburg.
Speaking at Nordic TV conference TV Drama Vision, held under the auspices of the Gothenburg Film Festival (Jan 23-Feb 2), local TV execs agreed that while the Nordic markets continue to produce top-notch local (often crime) drama series they must see new platforms and players in order to maximize growth.
“As a consumer I’m frustrated by a business as usual approach in Sweden,” said Goran Danasten, project manager at Swedish broadcaster SVT.
“There are still so few places to put quality drama. The world is exploding with platforms but in Sweden, and Scandinavia, it’s still all about the linear broadcasters and that’s not enough. It’s like everyone is hesitating and waiting.”
Helena Danielsson, executive producer of the Fjallbaka Murders series, agreed and said: “The consumer has developed a taste for good drama.We now need to get our gear together.
“We have been blessed by public service but it’s not enough. There is a queue of producers knocking on the door and we’re not going to wait. The traditional channels need competition.”
Kjartan Thor Thordarson, CEO Saga Film Nordic, added: “HBO, Amazon, Netflix are yet to commission here but I think that will change very soon.”
Local telecom companies could enter the market soon as new commissioners, continued the Icelandic executive:
“We will see different players,” predicted Thordarson. “Companies with client relationships such as telecom operators will be commissioning content in Scandinavia. They might initially buy ready-made content from the US but they will eventually need local content too.”
Despite the call for more space for local drama, some local broadcasters are adjusting their schedules to meet the growing demand.
Earlier in the day, the industry audience heard from Jon Petersson, head of programme controlling and drama commissioning at Kanal 5, who confirmed that the Swedish channel intends to up its major drama output.
“If we find the right projects, the plan is that we’ll have drama series in the spring and fall going forward, [equating to] 24 hours a year,” said Petersson. “We hope we can keep up that pace.”
Petersson and Red Arrow executive Tim Gerhartz teased footage of upcoming 12-part Scandinavian-US crime thriller series 100 Code, in which Michael Nyqvist (the Millennium trilogy) and Dominic Monaghan (Lost) hunt for a serial killer in New York and Stockholm.
The English-language series, made for Kanal 5 and Sky Deutschland, is the brain-child of LA-based Swedish producer Henrik Bastin of Red Arrow’s scripted arm Fabrik Entertainment and US writer Bobby Moresco.
HBO Nordic picked up pay and subscription VoD rights to the series from Red Arrow at MIP.