Sales round-up: Salto takes Russian ‘Sherlock’; ‘Unusual Suspects’ bought by Canada’s Bell; ‘Line Of Duty’ lands on US AVOD

Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles

Salto takes Russian Sherlock

French streamer Salto has picked up rights to eight-part mystery thriller Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles, after striking a deal with distributor ZDF Enterprises.

The 8 x 52-minute series, which will be available on Salto under the title Sherlock: Les Chroniques Russes in the autumn, was produced by Russian prodcos Start and Sreda, with ZDFE selling globally except Russia and CIS but including the Baltics and Ukraine.

It originally premiered in Russia on Start’s subscription-based streamer, also named Start, in 2020 and made its linear debut on TNT earlier this year.

Oleg Malovichko wrote the show, with Nurbek Egen directing. Prior to ZDFE acquiring the licensing rights, it was sold by Start to Japan’s NHK Enterprises for the AXN Mystery channel.

The drama follows the esteemed detective from London to St Petersburg as he hunts down a suspected serial killer, the infamous Jack the Ripper. The drama unfolds in stunning locations in 19th century Russia, with new characters Dr Kartsev and Sophia joining Sherlock to solve a series of mysterious cases.

The deal is the second between ZDFE and Salto, following the acquisition of thriller series The Crimson Rivers (Les Rivières Pourpres). The French streamer was launched in November 2020 and is a joint initiative between TF1, France Télévisions and M6.

The Unusual Suspects

The Unusual Suspects bought by Canada’s Bell

Bell Media in Canada is among a raft of buyers of The Unusual Suspects, the female-led comedy heist drama from Australia.

Streaming service Rialto in New Zealand, OCS in France, Filmin in Spain, AMC Networks International Southern Europe in Spain and Portugal, and Streamz and Proximus in Belgium have also acquired the show, after agreeing deals with distributor About Premium Content (APC).

Hulu in the US also recently acquired the series via a deal with APC, with the show set to premiere internationally in competition at Series Mania on 27 August.

The 4 x 60-minute English-language comedy drama was produced by Aquarius Films’ Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford for SBS Australia.

Line Of Duty

Line Of Duty’ lands on US AVOD

US-based streamer and producer FilmRise has bought US AVOD distribution rights to 23 episodes across the first four seasons of BBC hit drama Line Of Duty.

The deal was struck via US distributor Quiver Entertainment and follows recent sales of the show’s sixth season by ITV Studios, which has been picked up by Chinese streamer Pumpkin Film and BritBox in North America.

The show is written by Jed Mercurio and produced by ITVS-owned World Productions.

Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said: “This award-winning and critically acclaimed series is a wonderful addition to our recently launched British TV OTT channel, which provides free top-tier British programming on our FilmRise Streaming Network. So, now for the first time, US fans can enjoy Line Of Duty and more without having to subscribe to a streaming service.”

Aussie shows dock at Harbour 

Hong Kong-based distributor Harbour Rights has acquired sales rights to a pair of Australian documentaries from Matadora Films.

The Bamboo Bridge (1 x 65 minutes) reveals the last days of the world longest bamboo bridge in Cambodia, while Mother Crocodile (1 x 55 minutes) tells the story of Vicky Lowing, fighting against government to retain custody of four pet crocodiles.


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