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Altice Studios’ SFR Play Acquires Luc Besson’s ‘Taken’ Series

Variety logo Variety 1/31/2017 Elsa Keslassy
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PARIS– After making its first drama acquisition with “Medici: The Masters of Florence,” Altice Studios’s subscription-based service SFR Play has picked up exclusive first-window French rights to “Taken,” the 40-million Euros series co-written and produced by Luc Besson.

Created by Alexander Cary (“Homeland”) et Alex Graves (“Game of Thrones”), the “Taken” series is based on the blockbuster film franchise which scored $929 million worldwide. It will roll out on SFR Play in March.

The drama series, set to premiere on NBC next month, is co-produced by EuropaCorp Television and Universal Television, with Alexander Cary, Alex Graves, Luc Besson, Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne and Thomas Anargyros producing.

Conceived as a prequel to the trilogy, the “Taken” series stars Clive Standen (“Vikings), Jennifer Beals (“Flashdance”), Brooklyn Sudano (“11.22.63”), Gaius Charles (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and James Landry Herbert (“Gangster squad”).

The series’s 10 episodes will be available one by one on SFR Play, following their airing on NBC.

The show will be accessible to SFR PLAY subscribers as well as users of the SFR Play app.

Michel Combes, president of SFR and CEO Altice, pointed out the acquisition of “Taken” underscored the company’s aim to invest in new premium series and partner with some of the biggest European and American film and TV producers.

Meanwhile, Nora Melhli, who heads up original creation at Altice, said Altice Studios’s SFR Play had already scored several high-profile drama acquisitions, such as “Medici: The Masters of Florence,” “Sirens” and “The Save Sky.”

NBCUniversal is handling worldwide sales on the show outside of France and the U.S..

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