A new franchise rolled out across PBS platforms in 2019: Walter's Choice. This seemingly curious collection of non-English dramas is, indeed, comprised of shows that are loosely related: often mysterious, usually dark, always European. If you’re anything like us here at WGBH Drama Club — that is, die-hard drama fans — you've probably wondered who Walter is and what he is choosing, not to mention how he assumed the expertise to do the choosing in the first place.
Well, as it turns out, Walter refers to the show's host and curator, Walter Iuzzolino, and Walter's Choice is a collection of what he considers to be the best foreign dramas available for TV. In fact, his role on the show might just be the one to which his entire life has been building.
Iuzzolino was born in Genoa, Italy, to a family of film buffs. Obsessed with film and television from a young age, Iuzzolino cites everything from the films of Fellini and Bergman to German cop shows to telenovelas as his influences. As an adult, Iuzzolino climbed the entertainment ladder, making it all the way to a position as a creative director and executive producer in the glitzy world of British reality television. But, in 2014, Iuzzolino quit his job to return to his first love: watching and enjoying dramas. It wasn’t until 2016 that he parlayed this love into the Walter's Choice franchise.
Drama fans have benefited from Iuzzolino's vast knowledge thus far with his choices of Modus, Line of Separation (now showing on WGBX 44), Thou Shalt Not Kill, Professor T, and the upcoming Vienna Blood. And it looks like we have a lot more to look forward to. Just this year, Iuzzolino joined forces with two other TV executives, Jo McGrath and Jason Thorp, to form Eagle Eye Drama, a production company that will create English language shows based upon Iuzzolino’s finds. The company has already seen investment from Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund, so we can expect to see more prime shows joining the Walter's Choice lineup in the near future.