U.K. television broadcasting and production giant ITV has acquired Mammoth Screen, the indie behind the BBC’s critical and ratings hit “Poldark,” and one of the U.K.’s leading scripted production companies.
Mammoth Screen has produced a raft of high-end drama since it was established in 2007, including “Endeavour” for ITV and “Parade’s End” for BBC and HBO. Alongside “Poldark” season two and “Endeavour” season three, the team are working on new series commissions including “Victoria” for ITV, “Tripped” for E4 and “Book of the Dead” for The Weinstein Company.
ITV has held a 25% equity investment in Mammoth Screen since 2007, and has now acquired the remaining 75% of the company. As part of the original deal, ITV Studios’ distribution business, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, has an existing agreement to exclusively distribute Mammoth Screen’s productions, which has seen “Endeavour” air in more than 180 countries. “Poldark,” which had an average audience of 8.2 million viewers in the U.K., was recently launched to the international television market with deals agreed with broadcasters around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Canada.
Mammoth Screen’s Damien Timmer will lead the business as managing director. Before establishing the company, Timmer was head of drama for ITV Productions, overseeing a wide slate of returning scripted series including “Lewis,” “Marple” and the BAFTA winning “Housewife 49.”
Co-founder Michele Buck will step down as joint managing director. However, along with taking-up new opportunities in the wider industry, Buck will remain as executive producer on “Agatha Raisin,” “A Tale of Two Cities” and “Lewis,” which she produces with ITV Studios.
Julian Bellamy, managing director ITV Studios UK, said: “Damien and the team are one of the most impressive and sought after drama producers in Britain. From ‘Endeavour’ to ‘Poldark,’ they’ve an uncanny knack of developing hit after hit and we’re delighted they’re joining the ITV Studios family.”
Timmer added: “This move will allow Mammoth to make even more ambitious drama, working with the best creative talent in the business. We have a long history with ITV Studios, and with its support and backing we’ll be able to make television for a wide range of partners both at home and abroad, whilst remaining a very British television company.”
Mammoth’s senior team going forward includes Rebecca Keane as creative director, Preethi Mavahalli and Karen Thrussell as executive producers, James Penny as commercial director, Jon Williams as director of production and finance, and Ronnie Castillo as head of production.