HBO Europe has appointed former SVT drama exec Christian Wikander to oversee all development and production in the Nordics.
Wikander, who was most recently MD of Twelve Town (fka as Pinewood Television), becomes commissioning editor & VP of original programming for HBO Nordic, with a remit across all development and production from the region.
He reports into Antony Root, EVP of original programming and production, and starts in September, based out of Stockholm, Sweden.
Wikander has been at Twelve Town since 2016, first overseeing drama before moving to head up the studio’s production arm, with credits on shows including The Child In Time.
Prior to that he was head of drama at Swedish pubcaster SVT, where he commissioned and exec produced shows including The Bridge (Bron) and Real Humans (Äkta Människor), both of which went on to sell internationally and have since been remade around the world.
He was also behind series including The Restaurant (Vår tid är nu), Bonus Family (Bonusfamiljen), Spring Tide (Springfloden) and Jordskott. Before focusing on scripted, Wikander had been head of drama & entertainment at SVT West, overseeing shows such as On Track (På Spåret).
Wikander also founded Swedish prodco TV Spartacus, where he served as creator, producer and writer of Hotel Caesar, Seven Sisters (Sju Systrar) and Three Crowns (Tre Kronor).
Root said Wikander’s “track record, reputation and wide range of experience in Scandinavia and internationally will be a huge asset as we move into the next phase of growth for our Nordic original programming.”
HBO’s plans in Europe
HBO Nordic is available direct-to-consumer as an SVOD across the region as well as via partners in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, offering original programming and shows from its parent company.
HBO Europe, which has been producing original programming since 2007, is also home to regional operations based out of Spain with HBO España. It is also available across Central Europe and the Baltics, while HBO Portugal launched as an SVOD service in 2018.
It remains to be seen how parent company WarnerMedia will incorporate the streaming services into the strategy for newly launched SVOD HBO Max, which will soon roll into Latin America. Earlier this summer, the company hired Johannes Larcher, previously MD of Middle East streamer Shahid, to oversee its international roll-out.