Channel 4 has announced a new video streaming brand showcasing foreign-language drama free-of-charge to UK viewers. The Walter Presents service, which was previously announced with the working title 4 World Drama is being launched through a partnership between Global Series Network (GSN) and Channel 4, will be exclusively available in the UK via Channel 4’s new digital hub, All 4, in January 2016.
Walter Iuzzolino, chief creative officer of GSN, will personally curate the new service which will offer a slate of foreign-language dramas. To celebrate the launch of the service, Channel 4 and Walter Presents have announced announce that Deutschland 83 (pictured)will premiere on Channel 4 before being available exclusively as a box-set on Walter Presents. An eight-part German thriller set amidst a divided Germany in the early 1980s, Deutschland 83 was the first German-language drama ever to air in the US, proving a hit on SundanceTV channel this summer).
Walter Presents will eventually host more than 600 hours of drama that will be available for box-set viewing on All 4, and will include the option to download episodes to watch on the go. In addition, a selection of the best series from Walter Presents will also broadcast on Channel 4 and More 4, the latter within a dedicated, regular scheduled slot.
Titles that will be available through Walter Presents in the first year will originate from a wide range of territories, including Brazil, France, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Israel, Belgium, Poland, Chile and Denmark among others.
“We live in the golden age of serial drama – with French and Scandi thrillers gripping audiences in their millions,” said Iuzzolino. “This is the perfect time to introduce UK viewers to a much broader choice of the very best dramas and box sets from around the world, which they never previously knew existed.”
Jay Hunt, chief creative officer at Channel 4, added: “Channel 4 has steadily grown its reputation for bringing the best of world drama to the UK - from The Returned to Saboteurs. The remarkable Deutschland 83 is a perfect launch for Walter presents – which will allow UK audiences to enjoy hand-picked global hits.”