ITV Studios has increases its stake in Danish production company, Apple Tree Productions, from 25 per cent to 51 per cent. The agreement will see the label, founded by Executive Producer Piv Bernth and former DR Deputy Head of Drama and producer Lars Hermann, become a more integral part of ITV Studios.
Since its launch in 2017, Apple Tree Productions has developed a number of drama series for both the Scandinavian market and global streamers. Equinox, a six-part character-driven supernatural thriller, commissioned by Netflix, has now launched on the platform and is available worldwide. Pre production is also underway on a major six-part TV adaptation of Kerstin Ekman’s crime novel, Blackwater, from the company’s Swedish arm for SVT in Sweden and ARD in Germany. Via ITV Studios, the drama has pre-sold to DR in Denmark, NRK in Norway, YLE in Finland and RUV in Iceland. Several other Scandinavian and international projects are in development.
International distribution for Apple Tree Productions will continue to be handled by ITV Studios. The label will now sit within ITV Studios’ international production group with bases in twelve countries, under Managing Director, Lisa Perrin.
Bernth played a key role in kickstarting the Nordic noir drama wave with the cult series The Killing and in firmly establishing the reputation of quality Danish drama on the international scene with hits such as Borgen and The Legacy. Bernth and Hermann’s team of producers within Apple Tree Productions is impressive and includes Dorthe Riis Lauridsen (Equinox for Netflix) and upcoming producers, Cathrine Skotte and Mathias Bruunshøj Jakobsen.
Bernth and Hermann said in a joint statement:” We are so excited to be a closer part of the ITV Studios family. Working with them for the past three years has been extremely inspiring and rewarding. We hope that we, closer together now, can merge all our best efforts and make Scandinavian and international drama to viewers all over the world.”
Julian Bellamy, Managing Director, ITV Studios, added: “The global appetite for the Nordics’ very distinctive style of storytelling has grown and grown, both within Denmark itself as well as globally, Piv, Lars and the team at Apple Tree Productions, have a fantastic reputation for bringing high quality, premium drama to the screen watched by Danish viewers as well as a global audience. I’m looking forward to the next chapter for ITV Studios and Apple Tree Productions.”
Lisa Perrin, Managing Director International Production, ITV Studios added: “I’m very excited that Apple Tree will be part of the international scripted family. Expanding the international scripted footprint is very important to ITV Studios and this acquisition couldn’t be at a better time with Piv and Lars producing some of the best scripted content in the world right now. I’m looking forward to working with them.”
As part of ITV Studios’ expansion drive in the global drama market, the major production and distribution group now includes renowned global scripted producers including Cattleya (Gomorrah, Suburra, Zero,Zero,Zero); Tetra Media Studios (Balthazar, Paris Police 1900), World Productions (Bodyguard, Line of Duty, The Pembrokeshire Murders) and Mammoth Screen (The Serpent, Poldark).