BBC Four Editor Cassian Harrison has announced the acquisition of the 10-part thriller series Cordon about the discovery of a deadly virus which brings out the very best of the people trapped inside… but also the very worst. Produced by Eyeworks for commercial broadcaster vtm, Cordon is BBC Four's second drama acquisition from Flanders following bank-heist drama Salamander.
In Cordon, everyday life in the centre of Antwerp comes to a sudden halt when the area is sealed off from the outside world. The cause is a deadly virus which spreads like wildfire. The people trapped inside the cordon are suddenly left to their own devices. It brings out the very best in them, but also the worst…
Conceived by Carl Joos, who also scripted films such as The Alzheimer Case (The Memory of a Killer) and the Oscar-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown, and with a cast including Veerle Baetens (The Broken Circle Breakdown, The White Queen), Wouter Hendrickx (Oxygen) and Koen De Bouw (The Verdict), the series originally aired on Flemish commercial channel vtm where it reached an average market share of 43.2% in the 18-to-54-year target group. BBC Four plans to schedule the 10-part series in its Saturday-night thriller slot that has been home to some of its biggest hits, such as The Bridge, The Killing and Borgen.
This year's Mipcom in October will also mark the official international market premiere for Cordon. It is expected that the early sale to the BBC will increase awareness among international buyers on the lookout for quality drama series.
Cordon is the second series from Flanders to air on the channel in a reasonably short timespan. In February, it successfully premiered Salamander, a Skyline production for VRT's één channel. BBC audiences can expect to see some familiar faces in Cordon, including De Bouw, who starred in Salamander, and Baetens, who was featured in the Emmy-nominated BBC-Starz historical series The White Queen.