Content powerhouse Banijay today confirms the appointment of Christian Wikander as its new Global Head of Scripted. Joining the group on 1 May 2023, he is tasked with spearheading strategic IP creation, driving collaboration across the business’ portfolio of over 50 drama labels, exploiting format potential, and identifying lucrative 3rd-party acquisition opportunities.
Wikander joins from HBO Max Nordic (Warner Bros. Discovery), where, since 2020, he has served as Commissioning Editor & VP, Original Programming. There, he was responsible for developing original scripted series across the entity’s Nordic footprint, partnering with creators, producers, and key talent, both locally and internationally. Prior to this, he was Managing Director for London-based Twelve Town, having joined in 2016 as Head of Drama for Europe. There he led the company’s overarching business and IP strategy, and content pipeline, which incorporated Conspiracy of Silence (Viaplay).
With extensive experience across the international scripted space, Wikander has also held Head of Drama roles over at SVT (Swedish Television) in Stockholm and Gothenburg, having built up his production credentials across a number of companies in the Scandinavian market.
In his new post at Banijay, he will report to CEO, Marco Bassetti.
Marco Bassetti, CEO, Banijay comments: “Having been a commissioner, managing director and producer, Christian has demonstrated not only his immense creative talent and agility as a leader, but importantly, his natural eye for recognising a story with international potential. With him in place, we feel we have further opportunity to grow our premium scripted offering and heighten Banijay’s reputation as a leader in both local and English-language dramas that connect audiences worldwide.”
Wikander adds: “I feel a great sense of pride joining such a well-established, global group like Banijay. A collective of some of the best producers in the business, it is such a well-respected home for local stories that travel the world, and I look forward to collaborating with, and learning from, the brilliantly talented storymakers at the heart of it all. Here’s to 2023, a year of origination, returners and travelling scripted hits.”
Banijay’s latest announced/on-air scripted highlights include SAS: Rogue Heroes (Kudos for BBC One), Marie Antoinette (Banijay Studios France, CAPA Drama, Les Gens France for Canal+ and BBC Two), Domina (Tiger Aspect for Sky Atlantic), Riding in Darkness (Jarowskij for CMORE/TV4), Ronja (Filmlance for Viaplay), Fallen (Filmlance for CMORE/TV4/ZDF), Bosé (Shine Iberia, VIS, Elefantec Global, Legacy Rock for Paramount Plus), Ripley (Endemol Shine North America for SHOWTIME), Gypsy Bride (Diaganol TV for Antena3), Dance Brothers (Endemol Shine Finland for Netflix), and Two Tone (Kudos for BBC One).
The appointment follows current Global Head of Scripted, Lars Blomgren’s decision to stand down from his role and return to his roots as a producer off-the-back of his recent executive producer role on critically-acclaimed Scenes from a Marriage. He will remain at the business part-time until 1 May 2023 to aid a smooth transition period.