ZDFneo Boards Scandi Crime Thriller Below the Surface


LONDON: Germany’s ZDFneo has signed on as a co-production partner for the new drama series Below the Surface with SAM Productions.

Below the Surface was originally commissioned by Discovery Networks Denmark for Kanal 5, where it will debut later this spring. The drama will also air on Kanal 5 in Sweden and TV Norge in Norway and broadcast on Iceland’s RUV.

The eight-part crime thriller comes from leading Scandinavian creatives, with Kasper Barfoed as creator, head writer and concept director, alongside Morten Kjems Hytten Juhl, who serves as producer. SAM Productions’ Søren Sveistrup (The Killing), Adam Price (Borgen) and Meta Louise Foldager Sørensen (A Royal Affair) and ZDF editors Frank Seyberth and Wolfgang Feindt serve as executive producers.

STUDIOCANAL handles worldwide distribution.

Dr. Simone Emmelius, the head of ZDFneo, said, “In 2017, ZDFneo will be showcasing its first international co-productions, so extending our fiction portfolio in TV and online is key for us. Therefore, I’m glad that we have found suitable partners in Discovery, SAM and STUDIOCANAL, and am sure that Below the Surface will intrigue our young target audience.”

Price at SAM Productions added, “We are thrilled that our brand-new Scandinavian collaboration has brought together a winning partnership between ZDFneo, Discovery and STUDIOCANAL—three of the leading companies in international television.”

Rola Bauer, the managing director at STUDIOCANAL TV, commented, “SAM has brilliantly created a gritty and grounded narrative that touches all of our fears today and we wanted to help find the right co-pro partner to support SAM and their partner Discovery, so, for us, ZDFneo was such a natural fit and we are thrilled that they saw the relevance of this story. It was an excellent collaborative effort between SAM’s and STUDIOCANAL’s teams and I’d like to thank Jonas Bauer, the head of international acquisitions and co-productions; Nicolas Loock, the CFO of TV series; Matthias Nitschke, the senior VP of business affairs and legal at STUDIOCANAL; and Nina Bisgaard, financial producer at SAM Productions, for securing this important deal.”