Fremantle this week announced a raft of deals for Reyka, which will see the series available in over 80 territories globally, bringing the compelling eight-part series to international audiences for the first time.
The M-Net and Fremantle series, co-produced by Harriet Gavshon for Quizzical and Serena Cullen for Serena Cullen Productions, is Fremantle’s first ever South African drama. A unique and ground-breaking English language drama, Reyka highlights South Africa’s status as a major player in the scripted world, further reinforced by its performance on M-Net – currently the highest rated South African drama for the broadcaster. Reyka also opened the annual Monte Carlo TV Festival earlier this year and following numerous deals by Fremantle, several international partners have boarded the series.
Reyka has already sold to BritBox North America – BBC Studios and ITV’s streaming service who have acquired SVOD rights for North America and will launch on 16 November. CBC has picked up the series for Canada and Channel 4 will bring Reyka to audiences in the UK. Public broadcasting heavyweight SBS recently launched Reyka in Australia, and TVNZ will broadcast for audiences in New Zealand. Meanwhile in Europe, Canal+ has acquired the series for numerous territories including Poland and France. RTL has acquired the rights for Germany, Cosmote TV for Greece and Sky Italia will be bringing Reyka to Italy.
Furthermore, HBO LatAm will launch Reyka in numerous countries following a pan-regional deal struck by Sheila Aguirre, EVP Content Distribution and Format Sales LatAm, Caribbean and Hispanic US. Other territories that have boarded the series include: Marjan Television (MENA Farsi), OSN Streaming (MENA Region) HOT (Israel), RTL Klub (Hungary) Viasat (Russia and CIS, Georgia and Ukraine) and NOW TV (Hong Kong and Macau).
Reyka follows a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler, Reyka Gama (Kim Engelbrecht, Raised by Wolves, Dominion, The Flash). Haunted by her past, she investigates a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer in the sugar cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal. Having been abducted as a child by a farmer named Speelman (Iain Glen, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey), Reyka is traumatised by the experience but this also helps her enter the minds of Africa's most notorious criminals and turn them inside out. Manipulative and charming, Speelman’s hold on Reyka, 20 years later, forms part of the backbone of the story, as does Reyka’s relationship with her mother Elsa, played by Anna-Mart van der Merwe (Binnelanders, Kanarie, Poppie Nongena).
Reyka exposes secrets and lies, truth and trust, damage, healing and forgiveness. With a dramatic backdrop of sugar cane fields, tropical beaches, stifling heat, dangerous wildlife, a criminal underworld, and shadowy politics - each place is connected by sugar but divided in so many other ways.
“It’s a time of huge excitement for us. Reyka has garnered global attention for its beautiful storyline, brilliant cast and at the same time, the series is shining the spotlight on African stories,” says Yolisa Phahle, CEO of General Entertainment and Connected Video for MultiChoice. “Reyka is keeping up with M-Net’s vision and commitment to showcase African narratives that resonate with audiences from across the globe. We are overjoyed with the achievements the series has brought to the television industry.”
Julie Hodge, Editorial Director, Global Drama for Fremantle and Executive Producer for Reyka says: “We are delighted that so many exciting broadcast partners will be bringing our first South African scripted series to audiences across the world, reinforcing the global appeal of this captivating drama. With compelling scripts, world class performances and astonishing production values, it is not a surprise the series has performed excellently for M-NET and I have no doubt that success will be emulated in the international market, cementing Fremantle as a key player in the English language drama space.”