The Danish drama’ s first eight episodes are due to premiere December 29 on DRTV, and later on SVT, NRK, Yle and RÚV.

In Behind Every Man (Bag enhver mand) the hot show-running comedy duo Jesper Zuuschag and Julie Rudbæk (Robert winners with their short form series 29) have set the action in the restaurant arena.

The popular Copenhagen eatery is not called ‘Alchemist’, nor ‘Noma’, but ‘Værk’. Although the chef Michael (played by Zuuschag himself) runs it successfully, his boss Vibeke (Ride Upon the Storm’s Ann Eleonora Jørgensen) still decides to hire a sous-chef, Naja (Julie Rudbæk) to bring in a new perspective. This quickly creates a conflict between Michael and Naja, as the latter has different views on leadership and work relationships. However, when the two kitchen experts are faced with a bigger threat which could affect them both, they have to learn to put their differences aside.

Drive Studios’ head of scripted Maj-Britt Landin who’s worked with Zuuschag and Rudbæk on their successful millennial relationship series 29 - and follow ups 30-31-32-33- says the creative duo was keen to explore the generational and gender divide in Danish society. “We needed an arena where we could discuss power, gender, representation, a setting which also played with a sense of urgency. The restaurant business felt like the right place to set the story-a perfect microcosm,” said Landin, underlining that the series asks a lot of questions, without offering any answers. “We want to trigger conversations, and let the audience find their own answers,” she says.

“It’s about daring to discuss the unspoken, what we see happening in the world right now,” adds Drive Studios’ co-head of scripted and executive producer Marie Louise Siim. “We and our characters don’t have the answers, but at least we acknowledge some issues on gender and power that are part of the Danish societal debate,” she says.

Siim also mentions the timely subject of the working conditions in the restaurant industry, which has been making headlines for over a year in Denmark, with the world-famous Noma as one of the places under scrutiny for its labour practices.

But beyond the topical themes, Behind Every Man is also plot-driven according to Landin, as the chef Michael constantly has to fight to keep his job and stay in control.

The restaurant scene is also a perfect arena for casting, and a second season could bring in new characters and guest stars for various episodes, says Landin.

The light comedy series is being sold internationally by DR Sales, which has already received positive feedback from buyers, according to festival manager Anna Risgaard Dahl. “Behind Every Man is attracting strong interest from international buyers with its light, relatable and Nordic take on the workplace power struggle of the sexes in 2024. We are expecting an international release in the Spring of 2024, to be accompanied by a first batch of deals,” she told us.

Nordisk Film’s majority-owned Drive Studios’ current drama slate also takes in Amazon Prime Video’s first Swedish original series: Milad Avaz’ actioner Hell of a Date starring Erik "Jerka" Johansson, Hanna Alström, Adam Pålsson, Alba August and Valter Skarsgård. The series is due to premiere in 2024.