Written by Copeland, the project, based on the Swedish television series Halvvägs till himlen, hails from Universal TV and Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment.
In Close To Heaven, an eager young minister arrives to be the head pastor of a small-town church after years of missionary work in Africa. He dreams of enlightening the community with his bold new ideas and well-intentioned enthusiasm, but discovers the church isn’t quite ready for it. Or him.
Copeland executive produces with Kapital’s Kaplan and Dana Honor as well as Nordic World, which controls the format.
The original series — created by Johans Glans, Anders Jansson, and Wiktor Ericsson through Swedish-based production company Anagram and producer Erik Magnusson — premiered in 2013 on Swedish broadcaster TV4 and aired for three seasons. (You can watch a trailer with no subtitles below)
Copeland’s previous collaboration with Kaplan include a U.S. version of the cult UK series The Inbetweeners, which Copeland developed and executive produced. It aired on MTV. Copeland also wrote and executive produced Kapital’s ABC comedy pilot starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo and serves as an executive producer on Kapital’s CBS comedy series Life In Pieces. Arrested Development alum Copeland is repped by UTA and Sloane Offer.
At NBC and Uni TV, Kapital also has in the works multi-camera comedy Ex-Stepmom from Danielle Schneider & Dannah Phirman, creators of Hulu’s Hotwives franchise.
The Close To Heaven format is repped by Paradigm, which reps Nordic World.