PRODUCTION / TV

Robert Gustafsson plays Ture Sventon in C More/TV4 first original family series

4 MARCH 2019

Ture Sventon And The Mystery Of The Bermuda Triangle, Robert Gustafsson / PHOTO: Robert Hallsenius H

Exclusive: The 100 Year-Old Man actor stars as the iconic Swedish detective in a six-part series produced by Nordisk Film TV.

The Swedish family TV show Ture Sventon och Bermudtriangelns hemlighet (‘Ture Sventon and the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle’) will bring back to the screens the celebrated fictional private eye created by Swedish author Åke Holmberg in a series of books published between 1948-1973.

Inspired by Sherlock Holmes, Ture Sventon (known as Tam Sventon in English) has been featured in earlier radio plays, Christmas calendars and TV series, notably with Jarl Kulle and Helge Skoog in the title role.

The new family series currently filming, is co-directed by Per Simonsson and Stefan Roos, creators of SVT’s successful Christmas calendar’s Selmas Saga (2016) and Tjuvarnas jul (2011).

Commenting on the challenge of portraying the cult character Ture Sventon, Gustafsson said: “I realize that this [job] is associated with high expectations and personal views of how Ture should be and behave, which is why I have chosen to make a personal interpretation that I hope will be both surprising and satisfying for all Ture fans out there.”

Ulf Synnerholm, Head of Production at C More/TV4’s Drama department said the TV series “fits perfectly the channels' strategy of investing in content that is broad, local and of high quality.”

Ture Sventon och Bermudatriangelns hemlighet also marks the first bet from Bonnier’ Broadcasting’s TV4 group on original family drama series, as part of its strategy to create engaging local shows for the largest possible audience - see interview here under with C More/TV4’s Fredrik Arefalk. The series will be broadcast later in 2019 on C More and TV4.

Five questions to Fredrik Arefalk, Head of Channel C More/TV4 Film & Series

You’ve just commissioned the Swedish Original series Ture Sventon based on the iconic character created by Åke Holmberg. Could you explain why you’ve made this new move into family drama series?
Fredrik Arefalk: TV4 has always had a strong position within the family and kids segment, especially with our non-scripted programming. Now we want C More to move into that direction as well and naturally, we need to create content that appeals to that audience. The new Ture Sventon show starring Robert Gustafsson, one of Sweden’s very best comedy actors, is our very first bet in that genre. At the same time, we will continue to create crime, comedies and ‘drama drama’ for a more adult audience.

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Robert Gustafsson plays Ture Sventon in C More/TV4 first original family series

Fredrik Arefalk / PHOTO: Andreas Lundberg P

Is this part of your strategy to fight back against streaming rivals such as Netflix, HBO and the Nordic NENT group? 
FA: 
Yes. There is a heated competition out there so our strategy to make C More/TV4 more attractive to Swedish audiences in particular, is by providing original content that is rooted in Swedish culture and created by some of our best talents.

Bonnier’s SVOD service C More has a Nordic reach. Is your new bet in local family drama series going to apply to the rest of the Nordics, such as Finland where you have a sister company in MTV producing local drama?
FA: The Nordic operation feeds mostly from acquisitions - be it film or TV drama from the Nordics, the US or elsewhere. But of course, we share the same content with Denmark, Finland and Norway and we are open to all local drama investments that can engage with local audiences and drive national viewership.

The advantage with an IP such as the Ture Sventon family franchise is that it is well-known across the Nordics. I’m confident that we will deliver an entertaining quality adventure series that will travel. 

Are you interested in targeting as well the Young Adult audience that is a big Netflix fan?
FA: We have quite a good hit rate in the 15-25 years old group. Our original shows and non-scripted content already score well with that audience. But you never know. If the right idea comes along I wouldn’t hesitate. 

Could you remind us of your total screen strategy ‘from viewers to users’, and tell us how effective has it been so far for your group? 
FA: We constantly monitor the shows that we produce, scripted or non-scripted, to check how the audience takes part in the content. We measure linear TV and add all the OTT viewing from TV4 Play and C More. That adds to our total screen strategy. We’re growing fast, both TV4 Play and C More are improving their viewership [4.7 million logged-in users for Tv4 Play], and the combination of linear and digital is working well. We simply have to find a way to keep the viewers who are leaving linear TV to make sure they stay loyal to our brands."

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