LONDON — Production facilities company Pinewood Group has set up Pinewood Television as a joint venture with Peter Gerwe’s StoryFirst PST to create, develop and finance high-quality television drama series for the international market. Helen Gregory, the co-creator and co-executive producer of Shondaland/ABC’s new series “The Catch,” has been appointed creative director and will lead the company.
Pinewood Television is expected to be both an originating producer and a co-producing partner for major drama projects looking for deficit funding, Pinewood said. It is in the process of arranging long-term external financing from a group of investors and banks to invest directly into its slate.
Pinewood Television aims to be a one-stop shop, developing strong partnerships with producers, and providing them with development and deficit financing. It seeks to become a “mainstream originator and financier, building a library of TV content, and once financed, it will have the ability to facilitate the development, greenlighting, production, marketing and distribution of high-end TV drama.”
Gregory has produced drama and comedy shows for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky, and was previously a commissioning editor for drama at Channel 4. Her producing credits include “Byker Grover,” “EastEnders,” “Grafters,” “No Angels” and “Case Histories.” Her most recent work includes “The Enfield Haunting,” starring Timothy Spall and Matthew MacFadyen for Sky, “Cider With Rosie,” starring Samantha Morton, for the BBC, Sky’s “Fortitude,” BBC’s “The Last Kingdom” and Julian Fellowes’ “Dr Thorne” for Hat Trick/The Weinstein Company and ITV.
Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood Group, said: “The global demand for high-end television continues to rise dramatically and, with high-end TV fiscal incentives available, the Pinewood television business will participate in this growing market. Pinewood Television’s offering will build on the financing experience that Pinewood and StoryFirst has developed to date.”
StoryFirst PST is a partnership vehicle with Premila Hoon, the managing director of Entertainment Advisers. Hoon was previously global head of media and entertainment structured finance at Société Générale. She led a number of major film financing transactions including the $570 million financing transaction for Dune Entertainment, the $200 million financing for Cold Spring Pictures, and the $242 million financing for the acquisition of the Hallmark television channels.
Pinewood has previously been involved in the financing and production of movies and TV drama through Pinewood Pictures. Its movie investments included “Dom Hemingway,” “Belle,” “Robot Overlords,” “The Riot Club,” “Spooks:The Greater Good,” “Kill Your Friends” and “Genius.” It also invested in fashion drama series “The Collection” from “Pretty Little Liars” and “Ugly Betty” exec producer Oliver Goldstick, which was picked up in November by Amazon.