BBC Worldwide has lined up a slew of international sales for ITV’s series of Maigret adaptations starring Rowan Atkinson, TVWise has learned.
The first two movies, Maigret Sets A Trap and Maigret’s Dead Man, have been sold to Channel One in Russia, NRK in Norway, TVNZ in New Zealand, RTE in Ireland, YLE in Finland and Prima TV in the Czech Republic, amongst others.
“Maigret has all the components for an international hit; classic engaging stories, great casting, atmospheric and filmic”, said Liam Keelan, Director of Scripted for BBC Worldwide. “Audiences everywhere will be swept along in these gripping crimes stories set in 1950s Paris.”
With this new round of sales, BBC Worldwide has now licensed Maigret to over 45 territories. The international distributor previously licensed the new adaptations to France 3, ARD in Germany, TV4 in Sweden, Danish public broadcaster DR and BBC First in Australia, Benelux, pan Middle East and Africa.
Maigret follows Jules Maigret (Atkinson), a legendary French detective, who is described as “magnificently measured and insightful”. The character was created by Georges Simenon and first appeared in print in 1931. By the time of his death in 1989, Simenon had written some 75 novels featuring the character, known for his laconic manner, heavy coat and trademark pipe. Stewart Harcourt penned the adaptations, which are produced by Thompson & Thompson Productions Ltd and Georges Simenon Limited.
These new adaptations were originally commissioned by ITV last year, in the hopes it would becomes a successful series of returning two-hour movies, along the same lines as Poirot before it. The first movie Maigret Sets A Trap aired on ITV earlier this year to a consolidated audience of 7.2 million viewers; while the second move from the initial order, Maigret’s Dead Man, is set to premiere later this year. Following the ratings success, ITV recently ordered two more adaptations, Night At The Crossroads and Maigret In Montmartre, which start filming this November.