Under the “multi-year” deals, the Comcast-owned studio will work with the companies to co-develop new drama projects for international services. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will then take them to market.
Free@Last and Sagafilm can continue to develop projects outside of the arrangements, and Sky Studios has not taken any equity in the companies as part of the deals.
Free@Last is best known for its M.C. Beaton adaptation Agatha Raisin, starring Extras and Catastrophe actress Ashley Jensen. Sky One originally launched the show, only to cancel it. AMC’s Acorn TV then rescued the series and it was acquired by Sky One.
Other dramas on Free@Last’s slate include Caleb Ranson’s The Women, about Britain’s first policewoman, while it also has the rights to Daphne du Maurier’s The Flight of the Falcon, which has been adapted by Christopher Villiers. The company was founded by Barry Ryan and David A. Walton in 2001.
Hilmar Sigurdsson and Kjartan Thor Thordarson’s Sagafilm made Nordic dramas Stella Blómkvist, The Night Shift and Case. It is currently producing The Minister, an eight-part political drama starring Trapped and Fantastic Beasts actor Ólafur Darri Ólafsson. Cineflix Rights has international rights. It is also co-producing Thin Ice with Yellow Bird.
Jane Millichip, chief commercial officer at Sky Studios said: “Free@Last and Sagafilm are incredibly smart and creatively distinctive companies. We look forward to working with both teams to bring high quality and internationally attractive series to market.”