‘A Wonderful Alternative to Nordic Crime’: DR Sales Closes Deal with Walter Presents for U.K. and U.S. on ‘Carmen Curlers’ (EXCLUSIVE)

DR Sales has closed a deal with Walter Presents on the popular drama series “Carmen Curlers.” The company has picked up the show for the U.K. and Ireland, as well as taking North American rights for PBS Masterpiece.

Based on true events and kick-starting in the 1960s, the show chronicles the invention of the electric curler in Denmark. It also focuses on its female workers, making their own money for the first time in their lives, and societal changes, already lurking around the corner.

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“I am absolutely delighted to welcome ‘Carmen Curlers’ in the Walter Presents collection of the very best international drama,” says executive director Walter Iuzzolino, calling it “a warm, incisive, emotionally absorbing piece with a gorgeous vintage aesthetic and a truly remarkable script.”

“I was not surprised to hear that it was such a massive hit in Denmark: a wonderful alternative to Nordic crime, this show takes us on a heart-warming emotional journey and I am sure viewers will fall in love with it as much as I did.”

So far, “Carmen Curlers” has been also sold to Filmin (Spain), SBS (Australia), NPO (The Netherlands), RTP (Portugal) and ERR in Estonia.

Second season, currently in production, will be released in the fall 2023.

“I have been fascinated by this story since I heard about it 12 years ago. It’s not only about the invention of the electric curler. It’s also the story of all the women who were producing them and how society changed because of that,” says writer-creator Mette Heeno.
“I love that something so feminine actually sparked the women’s liberation [movement] in Denmark. The show would be extremely boring, and predictable, if it was only about the business behind Carmen Curlers. It’s the characters we care about. Their families, dreams and hopes.”

Heeno – and producer Stinna Lassen – looked at various shows for inspiration, from “Mad Men” to “Babylon Berlin,” “The Knick” and Rachel Brosnahan-starrer “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

“They feel explosive and modern, and [yet] are all period shows,” she states.

“I think that playfulness is somehow inevitable when you work with a story set in the 1960s, centered around the invention of the electric curler and with the main character as quirky and colorful as [ours]. We tried to capture the energy, the restlessness and the dreams of that time.”

With its split screens, voiceovers and dynamic flashbacks, “Carmen Curlers” will keep up the energy level in its second season as well. But some things will change, teases Heeno.

“It’s set in 1965 and 1966, and the themes are more political. The world is shaking and everything is about to explode.”

“It was actually quite an eye-opener for me to realize how little power and freedom women had only 60 years ago. We don’t learn about that in school. I feel so grateful to all the women who fought the big battles and made it possible for others to dream and be independent. We owe them so much respect.”

DR Sales is also behind eight-episode “Nordland ’99,” currently spotlighted in Berlinale Series Market Selects. Directed by Kasper Møller Rask – and produced by Nevis Productions – it focuses on a young man who disappears without a trace in 1999. As his loved ones begin their search, they come across terrifying secrets.

The show will be shown at Series Mania’s International Panorama in March, “introducing a new generation to a classic genre story, but at the same time speaking about relatable problems,” states Møller Rask.

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