A+E Networks Teams With Finland’s Streamer Elisa Viihde on ‘Next of Kin’ (EXCLUSIVE)Variety — Elsa Keslassy
The eight-part series is scheduled to begin filming this week in Helsinki, Finland, and will be distributed worldwide by A+E Networks. “Next of Kin” will the first original drama to bow on Elisa Viihde Viaplay, the upcoming streaming service that will be jointly launched by Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) and Elisa Viihde this fall.
“Next of Kin” takes place in Helsinki and poses some fundamental questions about humanity. The series follows Liv, who decides to discover what happened to her DNA sample when it was stolen from a biobank, but she unknowingly ends up being pursued.
“Next of Kin” is headlined by a strong Nordic cast, including Nika Savolainen (“Shadow Lines”) and Elmer Bäck (“Idiomatic”), as well as Matleena Kuusniemi (“Hooked”) and Antti Virmavirta (“Man in Room 301”), Sarah Boberg (“The Bridge”), Sonny Lindberg (“The Legacy”), and model-turned-actor May Lifschitz.
“We are seeing Finns are increasingly using streaming services to watch new series, and so are keen to continue introducing fresh Finnish content. When Elisa Viihde Aitio and Viaplay join forces this autumn, Finnish, Nordic and international series will be available on one service in the future,” said Ani Korpela, head of Elisa’s content business. Korpela added the series will bring together talent from both Finland and Denmark.
“Next of Kin” is directed by Akseli Tuomivaara, whose credits include “Korso.” The script was co-written by Finland’s Minna Panjanen and Denmark’s Valeria Richter.
“The series deals with the next stage of evolution, which people themselves have developed,” Panjanen said.
“At the same time, ‘Next of Kin’ is an entertaining family drama in which the characters keep challenging each other,” Panjanen added.
Mark Lwoff, Misha Jaari and Pilvi Kuusrainen from the Finnish company Bufo are producing the series for Elisa Viihde. “Next of Kin” is produced in collaboration with A+E Networks, as well as Business Finland and the Finnish Film Foundation.
Since 2014, Elisa Viihde has released 21 original series, including “Man in Room 301,” “Arctic Circle” and “All the Sins.” Upcoming series include “Laws of Man,” “Mister8” and “Häräntappoase.” Elisa Viihde Aitio and Viaplay join forces this autumn to form a single Elisa Viihde Viaplay streaming service. Customers can already access Aitio and Viaplay Movies & Series content via the current services at an inclusive price.