NENT Studios UK, part of Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), is to make English-language psychological drama series ‘Close to Me’, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by British author Amanda Reynolds. It will be the studio’s first original production.
Danish actress Connie Nielsen (‘Wonder Woman’) will play the lead role in the six-part series alongside Christopher Eccleston.
The show will be a Viaplay Original premiering on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service across the Nordic and Baltic regions in 2021 and as an acquisition for Channel 4 in the UK. Dopamine’s recently announced partnership with NENT Studios UK will see it act as a co-production partner for the series, while NENT Studios UK will distribute the title internationally.
‘Close to Me’ is the story of Jo Harding (Connie Nielsen), a woman who seems to have it all – a beautiful house in the country, a loving family and a devoted husband (Christopher Eccleston: ‘The A Word’, ‘Doctor Who’). But following a fall, an entire year suddenly vanishes from Jo’s memory. As she struggles to piece events together, Jo discovers that her life wasn’t quite as perfect as she imagined – and that someone will do all they can to keep a terrible secret from her.
The freshly greenlit series was originally developed by The Development Partnership and Great Point Media and is part of TDP’s first look deal with NENT Studios UK. This is the first series from the venture. Angela Pell (‘Snow Cake’, ‘Gifted’) has written the screenplay. TDP is the sister company of agency The Artists Partnership, which represents both the underlying rights for ‘Close to Me’ by Amanda Reynolds in addition to star Connie Nielsen. Michael Samuels (‘The Windermere Children’, ‘The Missing’, ‘Any Human Heart’) is on board to direct ‘Close to Me’, while Gina Carter (‘Yardie, ‘In the Long Run’, ‘Kingdom’) will be the executive producer, alongside Robert Taylor and Ed Clarke of TDP and Dave Clarke from NENT Studios UK.
Connie Nielsen will also be an executive producer of the series.
Richard Halliwell, CEO of NENT Studios UK, says: “We are delighted to work with The Development Partnership on such a strong and impactful first project: ‘Close to Me’ is an impressive title to spearhead NENT Studios UK’s slate of original content and will undoubtedly prove an excellent calling card for the new business. We are currently developing a high-volume, wide-ranging slate of scripted projects, primarily for Viaplay, and anticipate announcing further greenlights over the coming months. I believe our new business to be a very attractive proposition, especially for British drama producers and writers, and encourage those with great ideas to get in touch.”
Robert Taylor, managing director of The Development Partnership, adds: “‘Close to Me’ is the perfect first project for TDP and NENT Studios UK. We saw the huge potential for development in Amanda Reynolds’ novel as soon as we read it and Angela Pell has taken that foundation and written fantastic scripts which bring this world and these characters to life. We are delighted to be working with both Channel 4 and Viaplay, and with the incredibly strong team we have assembled in front of and behind the camera.”
Filippa Wallestam, NENT Group chief content officer, comments: “This inventive, unsettling and fascinating drama uncovers the deception that can lie below the surface of a seemingly perfect family life. The constantly twisting plot, straight to camera dialogue and great indie soundtrack will draw in viewers, while also exploring a subject rarely highlighted on screen – the female mid-life crisis. Connie Nielsen and Christopher Eccleston are hugely charismatic talents and this series asks a question that everyone can relate to – what do we really know about ourselves and those closest to us?”
Nick Lee, head of series acquisitions, Channel 4 says: “‘Close to Me’ plots an intimate tale of mid-life crisis and distrust in those you love. We are drawn to the arresting story of fear within domesticity and that will be sure to keep our viewers gripped. Nielsen and Eccleston are finely cast for the lead couple and Channel 4 is thrilled to bring this show to the UK as an acquired co-production with TDP and NENT Studios UK.”
Fidela Navarro, CEO of Dopamine concludes: “We are thrilled that our new partnership with NENT Studios UK has given us the opportunity to co-produce ‘Close to Me’ and work alongside the talented teams at TDP and NENT Studios UK. We are especially excited as ‘Close to Me’ will be the first-ever English-language scripted co-production for a Latin American business, which clearly endorses Dopamine’s strategy of creating content that works on a global level.”
‘Close to Me’ will go into production in the UK later this month.
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