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ITV Studios back Piv Bernth drama studio

ITV Studios has bought a minority stake in the new drama production house of former DR drama chiefs Piv Bernth (pictured) and Lars Hermann.

Piv BernthThe pair announced their exits from DR in October, a move that led to an ongoing restructure at the Danish pubcaster.

Their prodco, Apple Tree Productions, will focus on high-end Danish and Nordic drama.

For ITVS, the production arm of UK broadcaster ITV, the deal comes two months after it bought a majority stake in Gomorrah prodco Cattleya and in the same year it took over French drama house Tetra Media Studios.

“Piv and Lars’ ambition for Apple Tree is to work with the very best creative talent in the Nordics to bring their unique ideas to screen,” said Ruth Berry, ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s managing director.

“This creative led approach to Apple Tree mirrors ITVS’ philosophy, so this is the ideal partnership as we continue to diversify ITVSGE’s portfolio of content from around the world.”

Bernth and Hermann are best known as producers of seminar Nordic noirs The Bridge and The Killing, which transformed the international reputation of Scandinavian drama half a decade ago.

Joining them at Apple Tree are former DR drama executives Anders Toft Andersen, Karoline Leth and Dorthe Riis Lauridsen.

“Since the phenomenal success of The Killing the global appetite for the Nordics’ very distinctive style of storytelling has grown and grown,” said Maria Kyriacou, international president of ITVS.

“Right at the heart of this boom have been Piv and Lars, we are delighted that they will now be part of ITV Studios’ growing international network of drama producers.”

ITVSGE, the sales arm of ITVS, will have exclusive international distribution rights to all Apple Tree programming.

“ITV and Apple Tree Productions share the same ambition to make Danish and Nordic drama series of the highest quality,” said Bernth. “Our goal is to continuously create outstanding drama series together with the most talented Nordic writers, directors and producers.”