AMC Networks Picks Up Swedish Crime Series ‘Backstrom’ (EXCLUSIVE)
AMC Networks has bought for its streaming service the U.S., U.K. and Canadian rights to the six-part Swedish series “Bäckström,” produced by the Scandi powerhouse Yellow Bird (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Wallander”). The deal was brokered by global distributor Banijay Rights.
“Bäckstrom” is set to launch Feb. 8 in the U.K. and later this spring in North America.
The series is based on best-selling crime author Leif G.W. Persson’s novel “Can You Die Twice,” adapted for the screen by Jonathan Sjöberg (“Black Lake”), who also serves as concept director. Kjell Berqvist (“Spring Tide”) plays the titular character, the rebellious and divisive detective Evert Bäckström, famous for his crime-solving flair. His talent, however, is put to test when a bullet ridden skull is found in the Swedish archipelago, and DNA-results confirm it belongs to a victim of Thailand’s 2004 tsunami.
The six-part crime show had one of the most successful launches ever last March on the Swedish streaming service C More.
“I’m very happy that Banijay Rights has struck a deal that makes “Bäckström” available for audiences in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.,” said Yellow Bird’s CEO Stefan Baron. “After the great success in Sweden and the Nordics, I’m sure the unscrupulous detective Evert Bäckström will win the hearts of many others.”
The series was produced by Yellow Bird’s Georgie Mathew for C More/TV4, in co-production with Film i Väst and Germany’s ARD Degeto.
A second season based on Persson’s novel “The Sword of Justice,” has been ordered by the Nordic streamer C More and leading Swedish commercial channel TV4 – both controlled by Telia’s TV4 Media. “The new season breathes a little more mystery, but Bäckström is still an a–hole with a big good heart and a lot of humor,” said C More/TV4’s executive producer Niva Westlin Dahl. Filming is due to start later this Spring.
Banijay-owned Yellow Bird has a string of other book-to-screen premium adaptations lined-up for this year, such as “The Truth Will Out” season two, the celebrated brand “Huss,” starring Karin Franz Körlof (“The Wife”) as detective Irene Huss, and “Two Sisters,” all commissioned by Nent Group’s streamer Viaplay.
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