Finnish content creator Moskito Television has just premiered on YLE its latest serial drama Koukussa (Hooked) and readies for TV3 and Viaplay Black Widows, the Scandinavian version of its hit series Mustat lesket.

Set up in 1999, Helsinki-based Moskito Television is enjoying like most creators of TV dramas the current boom in scripted content and concentrating on feeding the domestic and international market with premium dramas. The company CEO Roope Lehtinen (pictured) is one of the brains behind many TV dramas. “We have a double show-runner model, with the in-house head-writers often creating the series with me. For instance the original series Black Widows and Easy Living (Helppo elämä) were created by Mikko Pöllä with me, while Hooked was co-created with Laura Suhonen.

For Lehtinen, the 10x60’ show directed by Marja Pyykkö explores “the connection between addiction, love and drugs, playing with the metaphor. It’s more a relationship drama than a classic Scandi noir as the crime element is used more as a context. Unlike Black Widows that was a kind of fairy tale for adults, Hooked is very realistic.”

The first episode premiered on November 4 had 320,000 viewers on YLE TV2 (17% share) plus 41,573 views on the VOD platform YLE Areena. Lehtinen is starting to negotiate for a returning season.

Moskito TV’s current drama productions include Season 2 of the original Finnish Black Widows produced for Nelonen and the Scandinavian version (8x52’) produced for MTG’s TV3 and Viaplay. “We are producing the show for Denmark, Norway and Sweden with support from our sister companies within the NICE group.” says Lehtinen. “For us it is the first step of producing self-developed series just for the international market.”

Concept and main director is Norway’s Janic Heen, while Denmark’s Carsten Myllerup (Anna Pihl) is episodic director. The Scandinavian cast comprises Cecilia Forss, Synnöve Macody Lund, Beate Bille, Peter Stormare and Kyrre Hellum. The show will be introduced next week at the Stockholm Film Festival’s Industry Days as a works in progress.

The original Black Widows has also been sold by DRG to the US, Latin America, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Eastern Europe and Middle East. 

Other popular Moskito scripted formats include the crime drama Easy Living, about a dishonest man trying to reform. The remake sold to HBO Europe for Hungary was launched last September under the title Aranyelet.

The company’s CEO is now discussing several new TV drama concepts –both in Finnish and English language. “There is more money abroad, but also in Finland with private funds wanting to invest in TV drama. We will soon announce new ambitious projects with international co-financiers and co-producer on board,” adds Lehtinen.