YOUTH & YOUNG ADULTS: The successor to Skam is… Eagles

“It’s touching and brave when young people call me up and tell me their stories because they’ve seen our series. To me, this suggests that we could become even more relevant for young audiences who otherwise watch
Netflix and spend a lot of time on YouTube,” says Sanne Övermark, producer of the youth drama series Eagles (SVT).

Reviews have been good, and viewing figures very good indeed for Seasons 1 and 2 of the youth drama series Eagles. Season 3 will be aired in June 2021, and Season 4 is also on its way. The drama series Eagles revolves around a group of young people in a small Swedish town where love, rivalry and friendship intertwine with a ruthless focus on ice hockey and dreams of a different future.

I would like to see an even greater commitment to collaboration on Nordic youth drama, so that we could top up funding for each other’s series.

Sanne Övermark, SVT

The Norwegian hit series Skam whetted the appetite of all the Nordic public
service media for producing relevant youth drama for the public service
providers’ own streaming services. SVT were among them, and together with the New Stories production company, they also set about developing more series targeted at the younger audience.

Already at the open casting for the leading roles, rumours spread that the
production of a Swedish version of Skam was underway. This helped to generate great interest in the Eagles series, even before it went into production.

Photo: SVT / New Stories
Filming of Eagles 3 has started, and the series will be aired in June 2021. Photo: SVT / New Stories

“Virtually everyone in Sweden has seen or heard of Eagles, and it’s been really well received by young people in the target audience. I think the main reason for its success is the fact that the young actors aren’t superstars, but ordinary young people – persons the Swedish youngsters can identify with, and who reflect their lives in the small towns,” says Sanne Övermark, the series’ producer.

NRK in the driving seat

The number of Nordic youth drama series has significantly increased in the wake of Skam. This includes the Nordvision partners’ co-production of more than 10 drama series every year for the past three years. And NRK are still the ones in the driving seat.

“NRK’s Skam proved to all the Nordic countries that we are able to attract a target audience that we had actually given up on trying to reach with our content production. Of course DR, Yle and SVT have kept up with developments since then, but NRK are still very much in the driving seat. They are very ambitious, and I admire – and envy – the large number of series they produce, also for young people in minority groups,” says Sanne Övermark.

Moving images appeal to more young consumers

Young people’s consumption of moving images has exploded in recent years. Sanne Övermark mentions that young viewers spend only a modest 3% of their media time on SVT, according to the provider’s own study.

“I believe that there’s a huge demand for the things we produce for younger
audiences. If we create good content, they’ll watch it. After all, they do watch Eagles, Festen and Edits documentary content aimed at their age group. I get called up by young viewers who’ve seen my name in the credits. They bravely tell me about their lives, worries and dreams. They feel that they’re being taken seriously when they watch content produced specifically for them,” explains Sanne Övermark.

We should strengthen our collaboration even further

Competition for young adult viewers has intensified in recent years. Sanne
Övermark is worried that the public service media will lose young audiences unless they provide them with a greater offering all year round, and she calls for further Nordic collaboration.

“SVT will maintain a frequency of three youth drama series per year. That isn’t really a long-term strategy. But that’s entirely my own opinion, seeing as I work with this target audience. We already have a strong Nordic collaboration in this category, so why not strengthen it further? I would like to see an even greater commitment to collaboration on Nordic youth content, so that we could top up funding for each other’s series and give access to many more Nordic series, as this would allow us to promise young people that they’ll get new content all year

Eagles 3 (SVT)
Co-producers: NRK, DR og Yle
Production company: New Stories
Creator: Stefan H. Lindén
Production support: SEK 2,156,000 (Eagles 1)
and SEK 3,433,333 (Eagles 2)
Season 3 premiere: June 2021