Christian Wikander is out as global head of scripted at indie TV giant Banijay, a year after taking up the job, Banijay confirmed on Thursday.
A Banijay spokeswoman said Wikander will be leaving the group on Feb. 2, 2024 and that his role will now be reviewed. In the interim, Banijay’s global scripted team will temporarily report to chief business Officer Frédéric Balmary.
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Wikander joined Banijay in 2022 after he was laid off from Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max Nordic (now Max) when Warners shut down its original production operations in Scandinavia. Wikander had been commissioning editor and vp of original programming in the Nordic region for two years, delivering such series as the Swedish comedy Lust starring The Bridge actor Sofia Helin.
Banijay owns more than 60 scripted production companies around the world, including Sweden’s Yellow Bird, producers of Nordic noir drama Wallander, Norway’s Rubicon TV (Beforeigners) and British groups Kudos (SAS: Rogue Heroes). Wikander was tasked with overseeing Banijay’s global scripted slate and facilitating cooperation between members of the group, as well as identifying possible third-party acquisitions. He replaced Lars Blomgren who left Banijay in December 2022 to head up a new global TV division at The Morning Show and Pachinko producer Media Res International.
In a statement, a Banijay spokeswoman said in his short time at the company Wikander has been “integral to driving collaboration across the European studio’s 60+ scripted labels, while concentrating on building a team that is effective in strengthening the pipeline of new IP and returning, critically-acclaimed hits; exploring further format travel opportunities; and offering support in financing projects across the footprint. Through this period, the company at-large experienced significant growth in scripted driven by M&A and continued streamer investment, with a burgeoning pipeline in place for 2024.”
Deadline first reported on Wikander’s departure.
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