Banijay Global Scripted Boss To Exit After A Year In Post

EXCLUSIVE: Christian Wikander, Banijay’s Global Head of Scripted, is exiting after a year in post.

A Banijay spokeswoman confirmed the departure and said the role will now be reviewed. When Wikander leaves next month, the current team will report temporarily to Chief Business Officer Frédéric Balmary, who was promoted last year.

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Wikander replaced Lars Blomgren – who departed to head up Media Res International – in December 2022. Banijay owns more than 60 scripted labels around the world and the role involves tying these labels together, overseeing the scripted slate globally and identifying third-party acquisitions.

Banijay drama labels include SAS: Rogue Heroes maker Kudos, Netflix’s Supersex producer Groenlandia and Wallander indie Yellow Bird. Most recently, it acquired Help producer The Forge in the UK, where it has been particularly aggressive in the M&A space.

The spokeswoman said Banijay had “experienced significant growth in scripted driven by M&A and continued streamer investment” during Wikander’s tenure. There is no word on his next move.

“Banijay can confirm Christian Wikander, Global Head of Scripted, will be leaving the group, with his last date being 2 February 2024,” said the spokeswoman. “During his tenure, he has been integral to driving collaboration across the European studio’s 60+ scripted labels, while concentrating on building a team that is effective in strengthening the pipeline of new IP and returning, critically-acclaimed hits, exploring further format travel opportunities and offering support in financing projects across the footprint.”

Wikander was laid off by HBO Max (now Max) in the Nordics following cuts to the streamer in the summer of 2022, and he joined Banijay several months later.

At HBO Max he was Commissioning Editor and VP, Original Programming, for two years, working on the likes of Swedish comedy Lust and local versions of FBOY Island. Prior to HBO, Wikander was MD at London-based indie Twelve Town, having joined in 2016 as Head of Drama for Europe. He also held senior drama roles at SVT in Stockholm and Gothenburg.

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