Danish television drama got its international break when Sofie Gråbøl, playing police inspector Sarah Lund between 2007 and 2012, investigated 40 cases in The Killing on Danish pubcaster DR TV. In the UK, the Søren Sveistrup series was aired by BBC4, which continued programming Borgen, aka Government (2010-2013) – and now it will premiere Danish director Ole Bornedal’s 8 x 57-minute historical drama series 1864 (2014) on 16 May.
At the same time, the BBC has acquired the 10 x 60-minute Follow the Money, DR TV’s upcoming thriller series about economic crime, which will reach Danish TV screens in January 2016. Scripted by Danish writers Jeppe Gjervig Gram, Anders August andJannik Tai Mosholt, with Per Fly as conceptual director, the series – not a “whodunit”, but a “how did they do it” – is set where greed and ambition have a corruptive influence, withNikolaj Lie Kaas, Thomas Bo Larsen and Natalie Madueño in the leads.
“We are very pleased with our UK connection, especially BBC4; there has been a great platform for our drama series in recent years,” said head of DR Drama Piv Bernth. “When the BBC chooses to transmit a foreign series, it is a mark of quality, and when they keep airing DR series, it shows that Danish talent can compete with the very best in the world.”
Aired by DR TV between 2010 and 2013, Borgen/Government – starring Sidse Babett Knudsen as a female political party leader – is still selling. The series created by Danish writer Adam Price was recently licensed to Italian pay TV, “and we expect to close at least two deals for foreign remakes, which have become increasingly common”, according toHelene Aurø, CEO of DR Sales. “The producers can cast their own stars and adapt the plot to local conditions.”
Meanwhile, Price has been signed up to write 20 episodes for The Ways of the Lord, a new DR TV series that will be produced with Denmark’s SAM Productions (Price, Sveistrup,Meta Louise Foldager) and Arte France. “As politics was the starting point for a very personal story in Borgen, religion and faith will here be the underlying forces in the conflicts involving an ordinary family,” he explained. The Ways of the Lord will be ready in 2017.