SundanceTV gets first German drama

Deutschland 83SundanceTV claims it will be the first US network to broadcast a German-language drama after coming on board the RTL series Deutschland 83.

The eight-part drama from FremantleMedia-owned UFA Fiction (Generation War) has become a focal point of business for distributor FremantleMedia International, which has been touting its potential for months.

The coming-of-age drama, set in 1980s East and West Germany, follows a young spy sent undercover by the Stasi secret service to gather secrets on NATO military strategy.

UFA is producing it for RTL in Germany, in partnership with SundanceTV, whose president, Sarah Barnett, described the show as “a fresh and heart pounding thriller set against the remarkable political backdrop of 1980s East and West Germany”.

SundanceTV has a history of backing European dramas – primarily from the BBC in the UK. It is the first time it has bought into a German-language series, however, and claims no other US channel has done so in the past.

“It’s evocative and emotional and we are delighted to be collaborating on a show of such daring and originality. FremantleMedia International is a terrific partner and we are excited to bring this series to US viewers,” she added.

Deutschland 83 gets its world premiere at the inaugural Berlinale Special Series at the Berlinale International Film Festival.

“For RTL Television it is incredibly satisfying to launch a series like Deutschland 83 which, at this early stage has already received a lot of national and international attention,” said RTL Television’s managing director, Frank Hoffman.

“The involvement of FremantleMedia International and SundanceTV strengthens our resolve to continue developing programs that can attract such interest and attention.”

FMI took on international rights to the show in January.