LONDON — NBCUniversal Intl. Television Prodn., which is led by Michael Edelstein, has acquired a minority stake in Lark Prods., one of Canada’s leading indie production companies.
The move cements the partners’ close working relationship that began with Lark’s launch in 2010, when NBCU provided development financing and acted as an international distributor for several Lark productions.
As well as becoming a minority shareholder in Lark, NBCU has entered a new first look and distribution agreement with the Canuck company. Lark will continue to be run by its founder and prexy, Louise Clark.
Strengthened by the partnership with NBCU, Lark plans to scale up its operations and is seeking a chief operating officer. It has also just appointed Ed Robinson, whose career in Canadian television includes time spent at CTV and CBC, as an independent board director.
Since 2010, Lark has produced hit format “Real Housewives of Vancouver” for Shaw, and the crime series “Motive,” which is a co-production with Foundation Features, for CTV. “Motive” also airs on ABC in the U.S. and has been sold to most of Europe, Australia, Brazil and much of Africa. The series is in production on season two.
In addition to Lark, NBCU’s portfolio of international production companies includes: “Downton Abbey” producer Carnival Films, Monkey Kingdom, Lucky Giant and Chocolate Media in the U.K., Matchbox Pictures in Australia, as well as a joint venture with Working Title Television.