Lionsgate U.K. has continued to ramp up its investment in the television business, purchasing an undisclosed stake in Potboiler Television, the new high-end television drama company set up by Andrea Calderwood (“The Last King of Scotland,” HBO’s “Generation Kill”) and Gail Egan (“The Constant Gardener”).
Lionsgate has also signed a first-look deal for global distribution of Potboiler’s television product.
The deal marks the latest step in the global expansion of Lionsgate’s television business. In the U.K., the company has recently invested in production companies Primal Media and Kindle Entertainment, co-financed the Channel 4 comedy “Damned,” and hired leading ITV executive Steve November as creative director of U.K. television.
The investment in Potboiler Television builds on the relationship between Lionsgate and Potboiler Productions, which have collaborated on several film projects, including Alan Rickman’s “A Little Chaos,” starring Kate Winslet, “Trespass Against Us,” starring Michael Fassbender, and “A Most Wanted Man,” starring the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdam.
“Lionsgate U.K. has a reputation for boldly supporting British product and talent, investing more in its home territory than any other distributor,” Zygi Kamasa, CEO of Lionsgate’s European office, said. “This partnership with Andrea and Gail, two renowned film and television producers, and the Potboiler team deepens that commitment and extends both companies’ diversification into scripted television product created for a global audience.”
“Potboiler is an acclaimed film brand now bringing its focus to thought-provoking and entertaining television dramas with world-class talent,” Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs said. “This deal is a perfect example of the building blocks Zygi Kamasa and his team are assembling as they develop a robust television business alongside their premier film brand.”
Lionsgate’s TV slate in the U.S. encompasses nearly 90 series on 40 different networks, including “Orange Is the New Black” and “Nashville,” and new series such as “Dear White People,” “White Famous” and “Candy Crush.”