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Viaplay developing two Dutch drama series ahead of launch in Netherlands

Nordic Entertainment (NENT) Group-owned streamer Viaplay has begun developing a slate of Dutch originals, kicking off with a crime drama and a dark comedy, and has added StarzPlay and Hayu to its offer ahead of its launch in the Netherlands tomorrow.

Filippa Wallestam

The Guilty (De Schuldige) is described as a psychological thriller about parenting. It marks the first project from Dutch prodco Vincent TV Producties’ fledgling scripted label Ginger Fiction.

Written by Liesbeth Strik, the show follows a mother who discovers that her teenage son has committed murder and goes to extreme lengths to keep him out of prison.

Lisa May Visser serves as creative producer at Ginger Fiction, whose parent company Vincent TV is also preparing a local version of Dragons’ Den for Viaplay to launch later this year.

Something Stupid, meanwhile, comes from bestselling novelist Saskia Noort, known as “The Dutch Queen of Suspense,” and follows three women seeking revenge on the man who betrayed them.

Produced by Levitate Film, it explores themes of equality and exploitation in the TV industry. Both The Guilty and Something Stupid will be produced for Viaplay by Kennard Bos.

Viaplay said original Dutch, Nordic and international storytelling will be “a cornerstone” of its offering in the Netherlands, along with premium live sports, kids’ content and Hollywood films and series.

It has also added the streaming services StarzPlay and Hayu to its regular Viaplay subscription, meaning customers will have access to premium dramas and a host of unscripted series from the US.

Viaplay and Starz agreed a long-term agreement to make StarzPlay content available to Viaplay viewers across the Nordic region as part of their subscriptions in late 2020.

Viaplay and NBCUniversal-owned Hayu agreed a multi-year partnership covering Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland last year.

StarzPlay includes series such as Power Book, The Spanish Princess, BMF, Heels, Blindspotting and Run the World, while its forthcoming shows include Gaslit, starring Dan Stevens, Julia Roberts and Sean Penn; Shining Vale with Courteney Cox; and Dangerous Liaisons and Becoming Elizabeth.

Hayu features reality shows across celebrity, lifestyle, home and design, dating, cooking, fashion and true crime, with franchises including The Real Housewives, Below Deck and Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Filippa Wallestam, NENT Group chief content officer said: “Viaplay has rapidly become a major player in international drama and we have high ambitions for the Netherlands. As in our Nordic markets, we will invest in the local creative industry and partner with the hottest talents while helping to develop new voices. And as our first two Dutch Viaplay originals show, we will tell stories that are compelling, thought-provoking and above all unique.

“Reality content enjoys huge popularity in the Netherlands, and Hayu hits such as The Real Housewives and Below Deck are among the genre’s most famous. Viaplay will be the only Dutch streaming service to include Hayu at no extra cost to subscribers.”

Viaplay is currently available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the US. It is set to launch in the Netherlands on March 1 and is also due to arrive in the UK later on in 2022, followed by Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland by the end of 2023.


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