LONDON — Sony Pictures Television has added to its stable of U.K. production companies with the launch of Scarlet Media, which is headed by producer Simon Andreae, who most recently worked for Discovery in the U.S.
SPT will hold a majority stake in the London-based shingle, and will distribute its output internationally. Andreae becomes managing director, reporting into Andrea Wong, prexy, international production at SPT.
It is the fifth U.K. production company in SPT’s international production portfolio, which totals 19 companies across 14 countries. SPT’s other U.K. shingles are Left Bank Pictures, Gogglebox Entertainment, Silver River and Victory Television.
Scarlet will develop original factual and factual entertainment formats, with series and one-off specials, for U.K. and international broadcasters.
Andreae was most recently senior veep, development and production, West Coast, for Discovery in the U.S. Titles developed during his tenure included “Naked and Afraid,” and “Fast N Loud,” as well as the “Curiosity” series, hosted by celebs including Robin Williams, Eli Roth and Samuel L. Jackson.
He first moved to the U.S. in 2005 when he set up independent production company The Incubator, which made factual shows for broadcasters including Spike, USA, Vh1, Discovery, History, Channel 4 and TLC, among them the Emmy-nominated “Through the Wormhole” with Morgan Freeman, now in its fifth season.
Before moving to the U.S., Andreae was head of science and education at Channel 4, where he commissioned breakthrough content such as “The Autopsy,” “Anatomy for Beginners” and hit series “BodyShock,” as well as supervising long-running series “Scrapheap Challenge” and “Time Team.”
Andreae was a founding partner of U.K. indie Optomen Television, helping drive the company’s growth into one of the country’s largest non-scripted production companies with a broad mix of programming including “Police, Camera, Action!,” “The Naked Chef,” “Anatomy of Desire” and Gore Vidal’s “American Presidency.”
Andreae said: “SPT is the perfect fit because the scale is so global but the structure, so personal. Scarlet Media will combine the best of British and American non-fiction sensibilities, producing the sort of smart, spicy content at which the Brits excel but on a scale and with the sheen for which U.S. producers are rightly celebrated.”
Wayne Garvie, chief creative officer, international production, at SPT, said: “As a global production business we are constantly building up our creative capital to meet international demand, so partnering with proven leaders in their field is pivotal to our growth strategy.”