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Canal+ launches Borgais, eyes HBO sale

French pay TV broadcaster Canal+ is launching US$45 million crime drama The Borgais and the producers are eyeing a sale to US cable network HBO.

Former HBO boss Chris Albrecht is executive producing the project, which is based on the well known Renaissance-period family, along with Lagardere Entertainment-owned Atlantique Productions and EOS Entertainment. It is written by Oz and Homicide: Life on the Street writer Tom Fontana.

Albrecht, who has set up his own independent production company Foresee Entertainment, said he was keen to expand the international side of the business.

“I’m very interested in being able to spend more time learning the business outside of the US. I see it as an important solution to [broadcasters’] problems,” he told TBIvision. “It’s the beginning of a template that we can use to do real coproductions.”

Germany’s Beta Films is distributing the series internationally, although Albrecht is talking to US broadcasters. “HBO may well become interested in this,” he added, stressing that the series wasn’t dependent on a US sale.