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Why we could see more cross-Nordic TV shows like The Bridge

Television networks in Norway, Sweden and Denmark have signed a deal to increase Nordic collaboration on Scandinavian drama shows.

Denmark’s TV2, Swedish channel TV4 and TV2 Norge in Norway have come together in an agreement to produce more drama shows aimed at Scandinavians, the Danish broadcaster said in a press release on Thursday.

The aim of the collaboration will be to create shows which “speak to a broad audience and have high cross-Scandinavian societal relevance”, TV2 said.

“When we join forces we can become stronger, both creatively and financially,” TV2’s head of fiction Mette Nelund said in the statement.

The most successful collaboration between Nordic broadcasters in the past is Broen, also known as The Bridge, a police drama set in Copenhagen and Malmö that was produced by Denmark’s and Sweden’s public broadcasters DR and SVT, and aired from 2011-2018.

The Bridge became a huge hit in the Nordics as well as in other countries, notably in the UK where it was shown on BBC Four and later BBC Two.

A deal between the three commercial Scandinavian broadcasters has been in the making for some time, with a desire from all three to make more series that appeal to Norwegians, Swedes and Danes.

“We share culture, history and political rifts, so there’s rich potential to create new interesting and relevant stories that speak to all that we share,” Nelund said.

The storylines and characters will have connections to all three countries, according to TV2, while the series could be based on real or fictional events, including adaptations and original productions.

“Our shared ambition is to strengthen Scandinavian fiction and raise up stories with a strong Scandinavian core narrative, which engages broadly and has a clear premise,” Nelund said.

“The work begins now to find projects which have identification and fascination in each of Denmark, Sweden and Norway,” she said.

The first co-produced Scandinavian shows to result from the agreement could be broadcast by 2026.

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