Brenman, Benn set up Drama Republic

Ex-Tiger Aspect producers aim for high-end content

LONDON

U.K. TV producing duo Greg Brenman and Roanna Benn have left Tiger Aspect to set up their own shingle, Drama Republic, and have inked a first-look distribution deal with BBC Worldwide.

Brenman and Benn have been behind more than 350 hours of TV at Endemol-owned Tiger Aspect.

Their skeins include action-adventure “Robin Hood,” co-produced by BBC America, prostitution yarn “Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” and school-set comedy “Teachers.” They also produced single drama “White Girl,” which won a BAFTA.

Recent shows include period crime thriller “Ripper Street,” another BBC America co-production.

Upcoming series include period thriller “Peaky Blinders,” which stars Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill. It is penned by “Eastern Promises” scribe Steven Knight, and produced with U.S. producer Caryn Mandabach (“Nurse Jackie”).

Brenman was also one of the producers on feature “Billy Elliot.”

At Drama Republic, Brenman and Benn will specialize in high-end TV drama with international appeal. In April, the U.K. will introduce a 20% tax credit for TV content with budgets in excess of £1 million ($1.6 million) an hour, which is likely to make high-end drama shingles like Drama Republic a far more lucrative proposition for investors.

The key to the success of such outfits will be access to top creative talent, which Brenman and Benn are keen to court.

“At the heart of every successful show is a strong bond between writer and producer,” Brenman said. “Having been fortunate to work with some of the U.K.’s leading writers, we will ensure that creative partnerships become the foundation of Drama Republic.”

Benn added: “Our aim is to make DR an environment where creative people — writers, producers, directors, actors — can do their best work and get the support and reward they want and deserve.”

BBC Worldwide’s Helen Jackson said: “From ‘Robin Hood’ to ‘Ripper Street,’ Greg and his team have a tremendous knack in developing shows that have international appeal.”

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