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NewBe plots fresh Heartbreak

Heartbreak High aired for 200 episodes between 1994 and 1999

MIPCOM: A Dutch production company is seeking SVoD partners for a contemporary remake of 1990s Australian high school drama Heartbreak High.

NewBe has secured worldwide English-language rights to the show and is now planning to refresh the teen drama 25 years after it made its television debut.

Heartbreak High first aired in 1994 on Network Ten before moving to ABC in 1997. It ran for more than 200 episodes until 1999. The series followed students at a fictional school in a tough Sydney neighbourhood and aired in 80 countries.

Jeroen Koopman, CEO and founder of Amsterdam-based NewBe, launched a search for the rights holder earlier this year on social networking site LinkedIn with the intention of remaking it for a modern audience. The deal was secured ahead of this week’s Mipcom.

“Having the opportunity to do something current and fresh with a series that was so important to me in my childhood is a gift,” he said. “I remember racing home on my bike to watch Heartbreak High after school, and it feels very special to bring it back for a whole new generation of viewers.”

The series was originally produced by Gannon Television, with Ben Gannon as executive producer. Gannon died in 2007 and rights to the series were held by his partner, Brian Abel.

Abel will return to the new series as a creative consultant, alongside Mike Jenkins, who worked with Gannon on the original show.

“Jeroen was a fan of the original series and I felt, on meeting him, that he could be trusted to keep the integrity of the show. We anticipate the remake to be even better than the original,” said Abel.

NewBe is seeking SVoD distribution partners for the new series, which will be produced in English.

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