Banijay Group’s Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP) and Yellow Bird Sweden have launched Yellow Bird U.S., led by Marianne Gray.
Yellow Bird Sweden is behind such global hits as Occupied, Asa Larsson’s Rebecka Martinsson and Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. The new U.S. business will be developing and producing original, English-language scripted content for both American and international audiences. Gray has already optioned the best-selling novel The 7 Keys from Swedish author Åsa Schwartz and, most recently, I Found You from Lisa Jewell.
Gray will also look to exploit Banijay Group’s existing formats.
Marco Bassetti, CEO, Banijay Group, commented: “Yellow Bird U.S. is the result of two of the Group’s leading brands coming together in one of the world’s biggest markets. The original Swedish label has long built a strong reputation for high-quality, award-winning drama, and we look forward to seeing this success replicated via the partnership with fellow market leader BMP.”
BMP’s chairman and CEO, Gil Goldschein, commented: “Jacob Houlind and I have wanted to collaborate for some time following a long-standing working relationship within the wider group. In light of BMP’s own scripted aspirations, the current appetite for global, quality dramas, and Yellowbird’s stellar reputation, we both felt that a partnership in the U.S. would be key to taking the brand to the next level worldwide.”
Gray said: “The partnership with Bunim/Murray provides the perfect opportunity to transport Yellow Bird into the U.S. and I look forward to bringing a Scandi edge to the American scripted market. While the setup is in its early stages, we already have two of our formats in the works and a couple of new book titles we are looking to introduce to the market.”
Jacob Houlind of Banijay Nordics commented: “Following the Banijay Zodiak merger, Johannes and I decided that we should find more ways to tap into the growing global market for quality drama. Soon it became clear we could exploit our IP, creative talent and production know-how even better, by building a presence in the U.S. With a truly gifted award-winning producer such as Marianne, who has also worked in the U.S. scripted business before, and knows the Yellow Bird DNA inside-out, as well as with BMP and Gil Goldschein, whom I have enjoyed working with and admired within the wider Banijay group for many years, we have the perfect combination to take the brand into a new and exciting era.”