Denmark's prime export

TV DRAMA. The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge made TV drama among Denmark's hottest exports, and it hasn't lost its momentum.

Norskov02-adam-wallensten

"Norskov" Photo: Adam Wallensten

The recent MIPTV in Cannes dedicated a focus to Nordic TV, including a panel titled "The Hottest Drama from the Cold," where national broadcaster DR's Head of Fiction, Piv Bernth, and creator of TV 2's upcoming TV drama Norskov, Dunja Gry Jensen, were asked to disclose the secret ingredients behind the success.

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According to Bernth, it's all about spending more time on development (since that's much cheaper than production), bringing in new talents and encouraging writers to think new. "Don't look back at what we did – smash Borgen and The Killing, and forget about it!" she said.

Dunja Gry Jensen said TV 2 has copied DR's "One Vision" model which gives the writer space and freedom to unfold his or her vision.

Her upcoming small town police drama series Norskov follows police officer Tom Noack who returns to the industrial town he grew up in and left 20 years ago. Soon he is forced back into old relationships, and when he becomes involved with a drug investigation that comes close to his old friends and family, he has to decide what his tasks and responsibilities really are. The series is directed by Louise Friedberg and produced by SF Film Production with support from the Danish Film Institute's funding programme for TV drama.

Norskov screened at MIPTV in April and was sold to a number of countries. The series was far from the only Danish series experiencing great sales. New titles like the family drama The Legacy, small time crook dramedy Broke and upcoming financial thriller Follow the Money also proved successful.

The drama series Rita, about a controversial teacher, was sold to a number of countries in addition to signing remake deals with France and the Netherlands. The series' third season was co-financed by Netflix.

Danish TV drama concepts have a strong track record for remakes. The Killing, The Bridge, and Those Who Kill have all been remade in the US, while Jeuk, the Dutch version of the comedy Danish Klown, premiered in 2014.

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DFI-FILM Issue 

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Annemarie Hørsman
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Anders Budtz-Jørgensen
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