Lionsgate Television Acquires Global Rights to Viaplay’s ‘Swedish Dicks’

Elsa Keslassy

PARIS — In the run-up to Mipcom, Lionsgate Television has acquired global distribution rights to the comedy show “Swedish Dicks,” the first original series of Viaplay, the streaming service of Sweden’s Modern Times Group.

Commissioned by Viaplay, “Swedish Dicks” marks the first Nordic title to be distributed worldwide by Lionsgate. The Swedish-American series is expected to premiere in the U.S. early next year.

“Swedish Dicks” is a comedy series starring Peter Stormare (“American Gods”), Swedish stand-up comedian Johan Glans, and Keanu Reeves, who appears in several episodes. It turns on two unlicensed Swedish private investigators trying to make a living in L.A.

“The best storytelling knows no borders. The Nordic region is a leader in developing amazing series, and MTG has created something special with ‘Swedish Dicks,’ said Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate Television’s chairman. “Combining world-class talent Peter Stormare and Johan Glans together with Keanu Reeves as a special guest star, together with edgy, compelling writing, creates the kind of noisy, quality programming that is a Lionsgate trademark.”

Produced by Brain Academy with L.A.-based Viking Brothers Entertainment, the series bowed on Viaplay on Sept. 2 and broke Viaplay’s viewing record in the Nordic region during its first weekend, according to Lionsgate Television.

Jim Packer, president of worldwide television and digital distribution at Lionsgate, said: “Rarely do we have such a perfect combination of a proven ratings performer, an outstanding cast and inquiries from buyers all over the world.”

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG’s president and CEO, said the deal marked a milestone for the Swedish company, which is now placing more focus on original programming. “We are super-excited to team up with Lionsgate and tap their worldwide marketing and distribution capacity for global sales of our first original production for Viaplay,” said Lindemann.

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