Pair to develop formats for foreign markets
LONDON — ITV Studios, the production arm of the U.K. terrestrial web, and Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine have formed a co-production partnership.
Under the deal, hailed as the first of its kind in Blighty, the partners will develop pilots for ITV and international outlets but not for other U.K. TV channels.
In the event of a commission, duties will be split, with one party producing the show while the other handles distribution.
“This is a different approach that makes a great deal of sense for both companies,” said Shine Group prexy Alex Mahon.
Lee Bartlett, ITV’s managing director of global content, added: “This initiative represents a completely new way of working for ITV Studios and combines the creative and business skills of both companies to produce and distribute programming globally.”
Under Bartlett’s leadership, ITV is attempting to boost revenue from production in the U.K. and internationally, but an earlier plan to double revenue to £1.2 billion ($1.75 billion) by 2012 was revised downward last fall.
Shine, founded by Murdoch, is one of Blighty’s most ambitious shingles. Its recent hits include fantasy drama “Merlin” and the U.K. version of a revival of entertainment skein “Gladiators.”