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Cannes: SkyShowtime Sets European Originals

SkyShowtime, the European streaming joint venture of Comcast and Paramount Global, on Sunday unveiled a slate of original and exclusive series that will be premiering on the service later this year and in 2024.

CEO Monty Sarhan announced during a keynote appearance at the Marché du Film in Cannes that overall a total of 10 SkyShowtime originals from different regions and countries would premiere on the service in 2023. Among them are shows from its three regions of the Nordics, Iberia and Central and Eastern Europe. The streamer, which serves a total of 22 markets, described that as “a staggering and nearly unheard of accomplishment for a service that is less than one year old.”

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Among others, SkyShowtime will later this year debut Codename: Annika, its first original from the Nordics. The Finnish-Swedish production, which previously had the working title ID, was part of a deal the streamer struck early this year with Warner Bros. Discovery for exclusive rights across all of Europe to 21 HBO Max European originals. Codename: Annika is a crime-drama series that revolves around Finnish art-fraud investigator Emma, who goes undercover to infiltrate an auction house in Stockholm in order to investigate the firm’s connection to a notorious money launderer known as “Blanko.” The streamer didn’t immediately detail an exact launch date.

Further originals covered by the WBD deal include Polish drama Warszawianka, which will become available to audiences on June 19, as well as Czech and Slovakian comedy The Winner and Spanish series Mentiras Pasajeras (Fleeting Lies) coming later this year.

Meanwhile, in Spain, SkyShowtime will debut Spanish original Las Invisibles (The Invisible Ladies) on June 5. Starring Lolita Flores, Maria Pujalte, Yoshira Escárrega, Paula del Río, Paula Mirá, Yaël Belicha and Elena Irureta, it centers around a group of maids working at a luxury hotel in the Mediterranean. They look to “restructure their own lives that are juxtaposed against those of the wealthy visitors at the resort,” according to a show description.

Already available originals on SkyShowtime include Spanish series Bosé and Los Enviados (The Envoys).

Additional new series coming to SkyShowtime later this year include “mystery-of-the-week” show Poker Face, the Peacock hit created by Rian Johnson that stars Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll, Orange Is The New Black) as Charlie who has an extraordinary ability to determine when someone is lying, and Django, the Western-style series and re-imagining of the classic 1966 film in select Central and Eastern European territories, the Nordics, Portugal and Spain.

Also, later this year, SkyShowtime will launch Showtime comedy The Curse, starring Emma Stone, Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie. The series explores how an alleged curse disturbs the relationship of a newly married couple.

Plus, SkyShowtime said that it would exclusively premiere the latest Taylor Sheridan series Special Ops: Lioness, starring Zoe Saldaña, Nicole Kidman, Laysla De Oliveira, and Morgan Freeman. The series follows the Lioness Engagement Team as they help bring down a terrorist organization from within.

“SkyShowtime is dedicated to Europe, and we are proud to be launching original programming across our markets,” said Sarhan. “Premiering such a robust and impressive slate of 10 original series in our first year is virtually unheard of for a new streaming service.”

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