LILLE, France — Beta Film subsidiary Good Friends Filmproduktion, whose groundbreaking TNT Comedy original “Arthur’s Law” plays Saturday at Series Mania, has acquired the German remake rights to hit Swedish format “Bonus Family.”
Good Friends is in final negotiations for a German broadcaster to take the reversion.
“Bonus Family” was produced by FLX, whose credits include “The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window And Disappeared” and its sequel, “The 101-Year Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared.”
It was created by these movies’ director, Felix Herngren, and his second wife, Clara Herngren – appropriately enough, given “Bonus Family” turns on people initiating relationships with new partners who already have children.
Netflix acquired the series’ first two seasons, presented outside Sweden, where the series played very well on pubcaster SVT, as a Netflix original outside Sweden, its first totally Swedish show.
“The producers themselves are in a patchwork family, which is why they wrote this storyline,” said Nataly Kudiabor, who produces for Good Friends with Moritz von der Groeben. “It’s a lot about their own experiences which make it so believable and relatable, as well as very funny.”
“It’s time for a good family series. ‘Bonus Family’ has such a universal approach it will work in a lot of countries, and will be perfect for the German market,” Von der Groeben added.
Screening in Series Mania’s Panorama section, “Arthur’s Law” is a German fiction comedy series – a feat in itself – which marks the first TNT Comedy original. The show will premiere, branded as a TNT Comedy original, on Deutsch Telekom’s T-Entertain in September 2018 as the first German series ever on the platform, before heading to TNT Comedy on Sky in December.
A black comedy starring Josef Liefers, Martina Gedeck, and Nora Tschirner, “Arthur’s Law” turns on a meek man involved in an unhappy marriage, browbeaten by his termagant wife, who devises a wheeze to swindle money from his life insurance. The question is whether he has the makings of a criminal.
“We call ‘Arthur’s Law’ comedy noir, It’s not about punchlines but humor generated by the characters, and funny fixes they get into,” said Kudiabor.
“TNT was originally looking for a half-hour low-budget format. But in the end we made a 45-minute episode series at a normal budget, using multiple locations and A-List Cast,” Von der Groeben said.
He added: “This type of comedy – extreme, very funny – is not very common in Germany. But it was exactly what TNT was looking for for its channel to attract new viewers and to show, as had occurred with ‘Four Blocks,’ that even a relatively small channel can attract a lot of attention with a new format.
Founded in 2015, Good Friends also co-produced Nico Moolenar’s off-beat undercover agent dramedy thriller “Undercover,” which competed in main competition at Canneseries. Good Friends also brought in German pubcaster ZDF as a second German co-producer on the Belgium-Netherlands border set show, distributed by Netflix and Federation Ent., and Netflix’s first Dutch-language original.