Pilots, hires boost Lion

Indie TV shingle jumps up production and taps two new execs

Lion TV, the U.S. arm of the British nonfiction TV producer, has ramped up its series production to 108 hours this year — a 50% jump from 2005 — highlighted by pilot commitments from the Discovery Channel and WGBH Boston.

Lion also has hired two fulltime exec producers, Allison Corn and David Upshal.

The Discovery pilot, now in production, is planned as the first one-hour episode of umbrella series “The Inside Story of…”

Pilot will deal with SUVs from all angles, including their effect on the culture and the environment.

The one-hour WGBH pilot is “Science Investigators,” which follows four globe-circling scientists.

Lion also just chalked up renewals of “USA SWAT” from Court TV and of two Discovery Channel series: “Cash Cab” and “It Takes a Thief.”

Corn was a producer at Diplomatic Prods. (renamed Embassy Row) and was involved in the WB’s series “Studio 7.”

Upshal produced the 12-part history series “Tales From the Green Valley” for the BBC as well as six dramatic docus on disease epidemics for National Geographic Intl. called “Outbreak Investigations.”

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