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September 15, 2020 |

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CBS Studios strikes deal with Greg Silverman’s Stampede, unveils Icelandic project

Greg Silverman

Stampede Ventures, the prodco founded by Warner Bros. Pictures’ former president Greg Silverman, has struck a first-look TV deal with CBS Studios and unveiled details of its first project in the works.

The agreement, struck via global arm Stampede Ventures International, will see the company and CBS Studios source, acquire and develop premium scripted content for the global market that is creatively anchored outside the US.

JP Sarni, who heads up international content and worldwide content acquisitions for Stampede Ventures, is developing book properties, original concepts and other IP for local and English-language production, the company said, with a slate of shows from 15 countries in the works.

Projects from Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Mexico, South Africa and the UK are among those represented.

Light on The Darkness

CBS and Stampede also confirmed that one of the first projects coming out of their partnership would be a series adaptation of Ragnar Jónasson’s book The Darkness, which forms part of his Hulda series of crime novels.

Andrea Janakas (Bliss) is attached to adapt the project, with Truenorth Productions – which recently produced Netflix’s The Valhalla Murders – set to produce the series in Iceland.

The 8 x 60-minute show will follows a detective who is bracing for retirement but is blindsided when she’s told she has two weeks to clean up her desk and start her ‘new life’ earlier than expected. To fill her remaining time, she’s given a cold case about a young Russian woman who washed up on a remote Icelandic beach.

CBS Studios will have worldwide distribution and international remake rights for this series. Broadcaster/platform details have not been revealed.

Meghan Lyvers, SVP of international co-productions and development at CBS Studios, said: “Wonderful content will always stand out, regardless of origin, and The Darkness is a reflection of that fact. We are confident this is the first of many projects in this new partnership with Greg and JP.”

Sarni added: “This new relationship will develop and curate international series from top writers, directors, producers and talent. It’s a real opportunity to give voice to local stories that we can celebrate with both traditional broadcasters and streamers.”

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