CBSI Strikes RTL Belgium Deal; Walter Presents Buys Dramas; NBCU Backs Oz Drama Indie – Global Briefs

Michael Parmelee/CBS

Dick Wolf’s FBI, the reboot of Charmed and Aaron Kaplan’s A Million Little Things are heading to Belgium after CBS Studios International closed a deal with RTL. The shows are part of a multi-year licensing agreement that also includes the rights to broadcast current and library series from CBS and The CW including NCIS, Hawaii Five-0, Seal Team, Instinct and MacGyver.  “CBS and RTL have been working together to bring the best of U.S. content to Belgian audiences for over 25 years,” said Armando Nuñez, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Studios International. “We’re excited to build on this important, long-term relationship with another successful slate of CBS programming.” “We are pleased to pursue our collaboration with CBS Studios International, which allows our viewers to continue watching all the famous characters they’ve learned to love over the years,” added Stéphane Rosenblatt, TV General Manager, RTL in Belgium. “CBS programming remains a solid pillar for RTL, helping to continue growing its audiences in the coming years.”

Icelandic legal drama The Court and Swedish thriller Farang are heading to the UK after foreign-language drama service Walter Presents closed a deal with Red Arrow Studios International. The Channel 4-backed series has acquired two seasons of The Court, which was originally produced by Sagafilm for Channel 2. The show follows the professional and personal lives of three lawyers at a Reykjavik law firm. Amidst all their personal dramas, this team must tackle their day jobs, as each episode brings them new cases as dangerous as they are diverse. It has also bought an eight-episode run of Farang, which was produced by Warner Bros. for C More and TV4 Sweden. The drama explores the complicated ties that bind a father with his daughter. Fleeing Sweden and the old friends he has testified against, former criminal Rickard, played by Skyfall’s Ola Rapace, abandons his name, his life and his family to start over in Thailand. Walter Iuzzolino, Curator at Walter Presents said, “Icelandic and Swedish drama are stronger than they’ve ever been right now, and I’m delighted to have sealed this 20-hour deal with Red Arrow Studios International. I’m a huge fan of Case, which continues to be one of our most successful Walter Presents series, so securing the first and second series of The Court where we first get introduced to the compelling character of Logi Traustason, will be a real treat for viewers. Set in Thailand, Farang is not your typical Scandi drama but the plotline is supercharged and every bit as thrilling.”

Tony Ayres, founder of Australian production company Matchbox Pictures and creator of The Slap and Glitch, is stepping out on his own with a drama indie backed by NBC Universal International Studios and Matchbox. He will set up Tony Ayres Productions (TAP) to specialise in high-end scripted drama and feature films for both Australian and international audiences. It is one of the first major deals for recently installed NBC Universal International Studios President Jeff Wachtel. Ayres woll continue as exec producer on a number of Matchbox series including ABC Australia and Netflix drama Nowhere Boys. Jeff Wachtel, President of NBCUniversal International Studios said, “Tony is one of the most inspirational and talented creatives this industry has to offer. His commitment and dedication to Matchbox over the past decade has been invaluable. We’re delighted to be able to support him on his new venture and to work with him to bring his vision directly to the global market.”

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