LONDON — Leading U.K. producer Charlie Pattinson launched his new shingle, New Pictures, Tuesday, and has tapped a stellar senior management team. Elaine Pyke joins from pay TV operator BSkyB, and Willow Grylls moves across from Pattinson’s previous shingle, Company Pictures. New Pictures hits the ground running, with two key series commissions — “Indian Summers” for Channel 4 and “Breakdown” for the BBC.
Pyke was controller of BSkyB’s channel Sky Atlantic, where she has overseen a 15% year-on-year increase in channel share, and a move into original scripted drama. High-profile commissions under her watch include “The Tunnel,” the forthcoming Fleming biopic and “Hit and Miss,” created by Paul Abbot and starring Chloe Sevigny. Pyke also oversaw all acquired programming for the channel, including “Ray Donovan,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones.”
In her previous role as head of drama at Sky, Pyke launched a raft of new dramas, including “Strike Back” and “Mad Dogs,” which have achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic, in addition to two collaborations with Pattinson, “The Take” and “The Runaway.”
Grylls has worked with Pattinson since he launched Company Pictures in 1998, and she produced “The Take” and “The Runaway” for Sky1 HD, both critically acclaimed adaptations of Martina Coles’ best-selling novels. Other credits include the feature film “Mischief Night” for Film 4. She will be executive producer on “Breakdown,” New Pictures’ forthcoming co-production with Company Pictures.
Pattinson said: “I’m delighted to be launching New Pictures alongside two such talented executives. Elaine is an outstanding and inspirational television executive, who has successfully pioneered Sky’s drama output both in the U.K. and internationally, and having worked closely with Willow for 15 years, I have long admired her creativity and energy, and I’m thrilled that she is joining New Pictures at the start of what promises to be an exciting new venture for all of us.”
“I am delighted to be joining Charlie at New Pictures,” Pyke commented. “Running Sky Atlantic has been a fantastic experience. I leave behind me a great team with an exciting set of plans for a channel that we’ve grown to be one of the most popular in Sky’s portfolio in a little more than two years since launch. I am sorry to be leaving Sky but looking forward to taking up a new challenge and returning to my first love of scripted drama.”
“Whilst we’re obviously gutted to see Elaine go, we couldn’t be happier that she’s joining Charlie at New Pictures,” said Stuart Murphy, director of entertainment at Sky. “As head of drama she was instrumental in creating drama as it is at Sky today, and as head of Sky Atlantic she has been simply incredible. Our customers tell us time and again that Sky Atlantic is one of the key reasons for them joining Sky, and as the channel approaches its third birthday, it’ll be in ruder health than ever thanks to her. She’s not only smart and insightful but also a lovely person and we will miss her very much. We can’t wait to chat with her and Charlie about new projects. We have already started looking internationally for a world-class creative to take the channel to its next exciting phase.”
In addition to these key appointments, New Pictures has appointed Tommy Bulfin as script editor from Red Planet, where he developed “By Any Means,” Tony Jordan’s new series for BBC One. Other credits include script editing the BBC One/Starz production “The White Queen” for Company Pictures. The New Pictures team is completed by Drew Craven, who joins as executive assistant.
Pattinson launched Company Pictures in 1998 with George Faber, and grew it into one of the U.K.’s largest and most awarded Independent Production Companies. Credits include the Golden Globe winning “Elizabeth I” for HBO, starring Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons, the BAFTA and RTS winning “Our Friends in the North,” HBO’s “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” (winner of two Golden Globes and 15 Emmys), and seven series each of “Skins” (E4), “George Gently” (BBC) and “Wild at Heart” (ITV), in addition to 10 series of Channel 4’s “Shameless,” and the recent Starz/BBC adaptation of Phillipa Gregory’s “The White Queen.”
New Pictures has a first-look distribution deal with All3Media International.