ZDF Studios, Boogie Ent., France TV Distribution: ’Blood Red Thread’

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European TV powerhouses ZDF Studios and France TV Distribution are partnering as producers on Berlin-based Boogie Entertainment’s new crime drama “Blood Red Thread.” 

Set in the “glamorous and cutthroat” world of fashion, the six-part series – also described as “stylish, witty and outrageous” – will expose various challenges the industry is facing, all the while following businessmen who rule the boardroom and clash with “divas of design,” both battling for power.  

Filming will take place in the U.K., France and Germany, with delivery scheduled for August 2025.

“We set out to try and describe a fashion world that felt real, that explored what fashion does in society. It holds up a mirror to our vanities and insecurities, it reflects our need for reinvention, our hope to be desirable and current,” showrunner and lead writer Timothy Prager explained to Variety.

“We seem to instinctively accept the disconnect between façade and reality when we look at a magazine or walk into a shop. Although we are concerned about how image impacts self-worth, we have never lived in a more image-obsessed time,” he adds. “We thought that the collision of the reality of a crime story with the fantasy of fashion would be a very potent mix.”

The high-stakes business of fashion, “with its accumulated wealth and vulnerability to organized crime and counterfeiting,” will allow for many twists and turns, Prager promised.

Prager – also behind “Silent Witness,” “55 Degrees North” and “The Miracle Club” – is joined on the writing team by writer-producer Valery Ryan (“Treason,” “Black Work” and “Cracker”) and Cleo Watson. Boris Johnson’s former deputy chief of staff, Watson penned the reportedly steamy novel “Whips,” which is being adapted for TV by Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium.

“From the desire to drive inclusivity, the self-censorship that comes from the fear of being cancelled to A.I., what creativity looks and feels like 1702982379 is under enormous scrutiny,” Prager said.

“The vanity of the human condition is full of humor and it’s something we all recognize. The titillation of fashion, its sex appeal and ability to inflame our senses is part of this story’s universe.”

Prager is hoping that the “quick-witted” nature of the characters and the central mystery will keep the viewers guessing until the end. 

“The crime story is our ‘Blood Red Thread’ weaving its way through the world of fashion. A world we all think we know, but in reality we only know superficially,” he points out. 

“We will look at the astonishing craft of the designers, the images they create and the extraordinary endeavor that goes into not only imagining, designing and making [the garment], but also showing it.”  

“We will be backstage at the ‘circus’ of fashion. We will be in the ateliers of a successful fashion house searching for clues about the death of a leading designer. Is the designer no longer indispensable? Is the brand everything? When a vulture-like private equity firm targets a fashion house, are they interested in the designer’s creativity or the brand’s familiarity?” 

The Window

The Window
Credit: Guillaume Van Laethem

The show marks the second new project from ZDF Studios and Boogie Entertainment. They recently announced “The Kim Dotcom Story,” based on “The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom: Spies, Lies and the War for the Internet” by David Fisher. ZDF Studios – then ZDF Enterprises – and Boogie Entertainment also produced “The Window,” a soccer world drama thriller made with Japan’s Fuji TV and Velvet Films in Belgium.

“‘Blood Red Thread’ is not your average six-part crime series. It’s a vivid portrayal of a world where beauty is fleeting and creativity faces constant threat of extinction,” Robert Franke, VP Drama ZDF Studios, said in a statement.

“In an industry dominated by brand supremacy, the timeless art of couture is overshadowed by the relentless pace of fast fashion and the looming presence of artificial intelligence.” 

“Set in the turbulent and eccentric world of fashion, it’s a twisty, contemporary tale that promises to entertain,” noted Julia Schulte, SVP International Sales at France TV Distribution, with Rolant Hergert, producer and founder of Boogie Entertainment, adding: “Unraveling mysteries in the glamorous world of fashion, our series uncovers that behind every stitch lies an unexpected revelation. Embark on a gripping journey into style and suspense!”

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