Colin Callender’s Playground Expands in the U.K.

Louise Pedersen (above left, with All3Media's Stephen Lambert and Jane Turton) is to join growing shingle

LONDON — Louise Pedersen, the managing director of distributor All3Media Intl., is to join Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment in the newly created role of managing director of its U.K. operations, which are expanding.

Pedersen will play a central role in the commercial aspects of the company, and will be responsible for the day-to-day activities in the U.K., the company said. She will report directly to Playground founder and CEO, Callender.

Pedersen has spent the last decade as managing director at All3Media Intl., overseeing its international distribution. Prior to that, she served as director of international sales for ITV.

Playground already has a strong presence in the U.K. and the addition of Pedersen is part of the company’s expansion strategy, reflecting its growing development and production slate, the company said. With Pederson taking on her new role, Playground will open offices in London in early 2015, where it will focus on indigenous British programming along with its existing co-production slate.

“Louise will be an invaluable strategic addition to the Playground team,” Callender said. “She has a masterful understanding of the changing television landscape in Britain and around the world and has worked with some of the best drama producers in the U.K. She’s a brilliant executive and perfectly positioned to help us with the next phase of Playground’s evolution.”

“Working with Colin Callender to help Playground expand its reach in the U.K. and beyond is a truly fantastic opportunity and one that I am hugely excited about,” Pederson said. “The role will allow me to broaden my production expertise and to combine two areas that I love: television drama and growing a business. Colin and I have known each other over the years and I have enormous respect for his track record in U.K. and U.S. drama. I am thrilled to be working with him and the Playground team.”

Playground was founded in 2012 by Callender, and is “committed to producing quality drama for the screen and the stage bringing together the finest U.S. and U.K. talent from the worlds of theater, film, and television, it said in a statement.

Callender won his first Emmy for the television adaptation of the RSC’s “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby,” and, as president of HBO Films, was responsible for an award-winning slate of movies and mini-series.

Playground is in post-production with Company Pictures on the six-part miniseries adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall,” starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy and Jonathan Pryce, set to debut on BBC and Masterpiece in early 2015. It is also partnered with Charlie Pattinson’s New Pictures on “The Missing,” the eight-part thriller for the BBC and Starz.

On Broadway, Playground recently produced Nora Ephron’s Tony-nominated “Lucky Guy,” starring Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut; Tony-nominated “Casa Valentina” from four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein; the Tony Award-winning musical revival of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” starring Neil Patrick Harris; and the critically acclaimed production of “Macbeth” at The Park Avenue Armory, starring Kenneth Branagh.

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