Sven Hjerson, the debonair Scandinavian master detective invented by crime writer Ariadne Oliver, a character in Agatha Christie’s novels, will get his own series, set in modern-day Stockholm.
In “Agatha Christie’s Sven Hjerson,” Hanna Alström plays Klara Sandberg, a former trash TV producer who successfully pitches a true-life crime show starring Hjerson, who would solve a real crime each week. The new show may reset Sandberg’s career and life, but the only problem is that she has never met Hjerson.
The show stars Johan Rheborg (“Kenny Starfighter”) as Hjerson. It will be comprised of four murder cases and broadcast as four films and an eight-episode TV series in the fall of 2021.
“The series will offer mystery, drama, puzzles; it’s not a comedy but will have a sense of humor and be a world that’s quite nice just to be in,” said Josefine Tengblad, head of drama at TV4/C More
“Agatha Christie’s Sven Hjerson” is written by Patrik Gyllström, Björn Paqualin, Jakob Beckman, Martin Luuk and Aron Levander and directed by Lisa James Larsson and Lisa Farzaneh.
The originality of “Agatha Christie’s Sven Hjerson” lies not only its modern setting, but also the fact that Hjerson has never been the subject of an Agatha Christie novel, only ever being described in-book by Oliver when she explains what she’s working on. In the series, he’s pitched as a renowned criminal profiler who has cracked some of the toughest cases in Swedish crime history. Now retired from the limelight, he dedicates his life to his daily routines: a vegan diet, vinyl record collecting and an unhealthy appetite for gossip.
“Agatha Christie’s Sven Hjerson” was developed by concept creator Patrik Gyllström and producer Patrik Andersson at Stockholm and Los Angeles-based Be-Reel Films (BR•F). It’s produced by Andersson and Ulf Synnerholm at BR•F (“Midsommar,” “Before We Die”). The series is commissioned by Sweden’s TV4, the country’s biggest commercial broadcaster, and Nordic pay TV service CMore.
Adding to powerful Swedish-German production backing, the series is co-produced by German public broadcaster ZDF, Peter Naderman’s Nadcon and the government of Åland, in collaboration with Agatha Christie Ltd. ZDF Enterprises has acquired global distribution rights to the show outside Scandinavia. The series is produced with support from the Nordisk Film & TV Foundation. Agatha Christie Ltd.’s deal with BR•F was negotiated by Alison Rayson at Raydar Media.
Said Tengblad, “In the current drama series boom, it’s so necessary to find something that’s unique, that’s never been done before, which is the case with ‘Agatha Christie’s Sven Hjerson’ since all other Agatha Christie series and movies are based on books.”
The series will take set ups, character traits, names and red herrings from Agatha Christie classics, but the scripts and cases will be originals, written specifically for the show, said BR•F’s Andersson.
“We aim to continue the legacy of quality Nordic crime fiction but make something lighter, more playful, an Anglophile Swedish show playing in contemporary terms with the whodunit set-up,” he added.
“Agatha Christie’s Sven Hjerson” forms part of a strategy of “giving the international co-production of series a larger role in the ZDF universe,” said Frank Seyberth, ZDF commissioner, series & international co-productions, citing the launch in 2017 of The Alliance, which sees ZDF partner with fellow public broadcasters France Televisions and Italy’s RAI on the production of high-end drama series.
ZDF is now looking to expand in co-production, scaling from smaller web series to event series. It is already engaged in 60 co-productions. “That’s not going to stop soon,” he predicted.