The team behind foreign-language streamer Walter Presents are getting into the original drama game – setting up a scripted venture that will see them reversion the global series into English.
Walter Iuzzolino, Jo McGrath and Jason Thorp, who co-founded the Channel 4-backed venture, which launched in the UK in 2016 as an AVOD service, have launched Eagle Eye Drama.
The company will focus on producing English-language drama series inspired by the hit foreign language shows they have discovered and aired on Walter Presents around the world.
Series that Walter Presents has championed include German drama Deutschland 83, which kicked off the service, French political thriller Spin, Japanese horror Crow’s Blood, France’s Kabul Kitchen, Spanish prison drama Locked Up and Belgian detective series Clan.
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British broadcaster Channel 4 has taken a minority stake in the business through its Indie Growth Fund.
The trio said that they have already won two yet to be announced commissions, and have several dramas on their development slate. They will continue to work across both Eagle Eye Drama and Walter Presents.
In March 2017, Walter Presents launched as an SVOD platform in the U.S. and it also has a distribution deal through PBS on its Amazon Prime Video channel.
Walter Iuzzolino, CEO of Eagle Eye Drama, said, “Walter Presents is uniquely placed to spot drama series with the potential to become stand out brands on the international stage and to identify the European creatives with the talent to produce beautifully crafted stories. The next logical step for us is to bring together the best drama ideas from around the world and the most inspiring production talent who can re-imagine them for a mainstream English-speaking audience.”
Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, added, “Walter’s passion, expertise and understanding of tastes in global TV drama is unrivaled, demonstrated by the huge success of Walter Presents. We’re very excited to extend our successful partnership with Walter, Jo and Jason as they expand into production to bring foreign TV gems even closer to British audiences through this innovative venture.”
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