Fremantle strikes unprecedented China deal for ‘My Brilliant Friend’

My Brilliant Friend: The Story Of A New Name

Chinese streaming giants iQiyi, Alibaba-owned Youku and Tencent Video have all bought the second season of Italian-language drama My Brilliant Friend, marking the first time the three operators have acquired a non-English language European drama at the same time.

My Brilliant Friend: The Story Of A New Name will launch to an audience of more than 250 million people in China following the deal with Fremantle, which sells the show globally with the commercial arm of Italian pubcaster Rai.

The latter commissioned the show with HBO, which has already rolled the series out in the US, while the new Chinese deal also covers rights to the first season.

My Brilliant Friend: The Story Of A New Name is based on the second book of Elena Ferrante’s bestselling series published in the US by Europa Editions and recently launched on Italy’s Rai 1 as the nation’s highest rated drama in almost a year.

Haryaty Rahman, SVP of distribution in Asia for Fremantle, said: “Ferrante’s masterful story has been enjoyed by Chinese readers for years. The first season was a huge hit for audiences across the country and it is clear that the genuineness and delicacy of the friendship between the two female characters resonates with millions across borders.

“The fact that the series has sold to the biggest platforms in the region at the same time non-exclusively is testament to its popularity and to the growing appetite for globally renowned drama.”

The show was commissioned by HBO and Rai, produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Fremantle’s The Apartment and Wildside, and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango. Italian prodcos Mowe and Umedia co-produce.

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