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Christian Rank steps down as DR’s head of drama amid ‘deadlock’ over production

Christian Rank, head of drama at Danish public broadcaster DR, is stepping down after three years in the role.

Christian Rank

Rank was a producer at DR from 2010 to 2014 before joining rival commercial broadcaster TV2 in its fiction department at executive producer. He was appointed head of drama back at DR in 2018.

DR said today that it will focus on the 14 productions that are underway and a successor to Rank will be announced at a later date. DR Drama’s deputy director, Marianne Bennetzen, will hold the role in an acting capacity until then.

With Rank at the helm, DR Drama has delivered Danish drama productions including the recent Ulven Kommer and Julefeber, along with Borgen, Carmen Curlers and Riget III in the recent past.

However, in an unusually frank statement, DR said today that the recent halting of production on Rank’s Leonora Christina commission had created “turbulence” and a “deadlock” and it has been decreed that a fresh start is needed for the drama department.

The statement added: “DR Drama is in an overheated market, where a large number of new streaming services are increasing competitive pressure. To ensure that DR can continue to have a strong and relevant position in a drastically changed market, there is a need for both peace of mind, a secure position and a renewed strategy. It is therefore DR’s overall assessment that a new start is needed for the department.”

Rank said: “I am proud of the many good series that DR Drama has delivered in my time as drama director. This also applies to a large extent to the productions that are on the way. During my period, I have placed emphasis on ensuring that DR Drama is characterized by the high-quality series in question. At the same time, I have sought to open up DR Drama to collaborations with the external production environment to ensure the best opportunities, and that original Danish drama is strong in the future market.

“The Leonora production has been an important project for me, and I am sorry that it has been necessary to postpone the production. It has been a challenging process, the situation is now deadlocked and therefore I understand DR’s desire to create calm around DR Drama, so that DR can continue to deliver Danish TV fiction in a class of its own.”

Director of DR culture, children and young people Henrik Bo Nielsen said: “Christian has done a huge job of creating great Danish drama in a rapidly evolving fiction market, and he should have the biggest thanks for that. In the shadow of the postponement of Leonora and the turbulence it has caused, it is clear, however, that the necessary calm can no longer be created. It requires solving concrete challenges and at the same time seizing the opportunities that lie ahead in the field of fiction. Christian Rank and I share that assessment. A new start is needed for the department.”


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