EXCLUSIVE: Endemol Shine’s Norwegian comedy The Councilman, from the creators of Netflix’s Lilyhammer, is being remade in Holland.
The series, which is originally produced by Endemol Shine Nordics-backed producer Rubicon, has been commissioned by Dutch broadcaster NPO3 for a ten-part run produced by Endemol Shine Netherlands.
The comedy, which will be known locally as Harkum, revolves around a small Dutch town where the officials invest civic money in the stock exchange only to receive a shock €700M windfall. It follows what happens to the community when it finds its sudden wealth and the Mayor must ensure that the municipal employees keep both feet on the ground.
Directed by Jelle de Jonge (Tower C), Harkum stars Leny Breederveld (The Louse Mother), Bas Hoeflaak (Snipers), René van ‘t Hof (Flodder), Annet Malherbe (Jiskefet ) and Jelka van Houten (Itch). Elzelien Peters (Itch) and Daan Windhorst (Christmas with the Kuijpers) are responsible for the Dutch editing.
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It is the first adaptation of the Norwegian series and is part of Endemol Shine’s Head of Scripted, EMEA Lars Blomgren’s new strategy.
The show originally launched in March 2018 on Norway’s TV2.
The original version was co-created and written by Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin with Tomas Solli, who are all behind international success Lilyhammer. Bjørnstad and Skodvin have also written and created HBO Europe’s The Beforeigners.
Blomgren said, “European drama is truly going from strength to strength and we are in a fantastic position to move scripted formats around our Group of talented drama producers. This unique series from Rubicon is a tremendously funny social satire and without a doubt the Dutch adaptation will deliver guaranteed wit and humour to suit NPO3’s audience.”
Gerd-Jan van Dalen, Producer, Endemol Shine Scripted, said, “The original series had me gripped with its ironic reflection of Norwegian society, which has many similarities with our values here in the Netherlands. There is much hilarity to be found in small community life and with Jelle de Jonge directing and a brilliant cast on board, this show has all the right ingredients to be a success.”
Bjørnstad added; “On the surface this is a comedy with wide appeal, but on a deeper level we created a scripted format that can tackle the effect of wealth on a community. The Councilman was popular here in Norway and I’m thrilled my colleagues in the Netherlands have been commissioned to produce their own version.”
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