BBC Worldwide Eyes $61.3 Million Drama Deal With Danny Cohen’s Access

BBC Worldwide is reported to be eyeing a £50-million ($61.3-million) investment deal with Access Entertainment, which is led by former BBC senior executive Danny Cohen, to allow Access to ramp up its drama output.

BBCW, which is the U.K. broadcaster’s foreign sales arm, is in the last stages of negotiations with the television and film content fund, according to Broadcast magazine. The scripted shows greenlit by Access would be sold by BBCW in international markets.

A BBCW spokesperson told Variety: “BBC Worldwide has been exploring a number of ways to bring in third-party capital to support premium British drama investment. We have nothing further to announce or add at this moment.”

The move would be in line with comments made by BBCW chief executive Tim Davie at the Royal Television Society conference last month. Davie said that more than half of its revenues came from drama, and added that it was looking at ways to draw on funding for drama from third-parties.

“There is lots of capital out there, whether that’s private equity or other things. It’s all about the people, the culture, the returns they want, and the risk profile,” he said.

Cohen left the BBC, where he was in charge of its television output, late last year, and in May he joined Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, where he launched Access Entertainment. The banner is looking to invest in the entertainment sector with a particular focus on high-quality television drama and movies.

BBCW and Access Entertainment previously came together to co-invest in House Productions, the production company set up by former Film4 chief Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell. BBCW nabbed a 25% stake in the company and will handle foreign sales for its TV slate.

Access Industries also owns Aviv Giladi’s film finance outfit AI Film and Warner Music Group.

More TV

  • Al Burton

    Al Burton, 'Jeffersons' and 'Diff’rent Strokes' Producer, Dies at 91

    Television producer and executive Al Burton, known for his work on “The Jeffersons” and “Diff’rent Strokes,” died Tuesday at his home in San Mateo, California. He was 91. Burton leaves behind a six-decade legacy of hit television shows that also included “One Day at a Time,” “Silver Spoons,” “Square Pegs” and “Facts of Life.” However, long [...]

  • Dwyane Wade Sets Multi-Year Development Deal

    Dwyane Wade Sets Multi-Year Development Deal at WarnerMedia

    Dwayne Wade is bouncing his way into WarnerMedia’s court. The retired NBA All Star has signed a multi-faceted, multi-year deal with the company, including a development deal via his 59th & Prairie Entertainment production banner. Part of the deal sees Wade sign on as a commentator at Turner Sports. He is set to make appearances [...]

  • Katie Couric Sheryl Sandberg

    Katie Couric Steamrolls Sheryl Sandberg in Roving Vanity Fair Summit Interview

    Sending a jolt through a luxurious and excessively polite afternoon in Beverly Hills, veteran journalist Katie Couric delivered a relentless series of hardball questions to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Tuesday. Speaking in conversation at the sixth annual Vanity Fair New Establishment summit at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Couric’s [...]

  • EVIL is a psychological mystery that

    CBS Renews 'Evil,' Orders Full Seasons of Four Other Freshman Shows

    CBS is doubling down on all its new shows. The network has renewed “Evil” for a second season, and handed out full-season orders to its other four freshman series, namely “All Rise,” “Carol’s Second Act,” “The Unicorn,” and “Bob Hearts Abishola.” “Evil” is set to conclude its 13-episode first season (creators Michelle and Robert King [...]

  • Jamie Lee Curtis

    Jamie Lee Curtis to Produce Military Drama With Put Pilot Order at Fox

    Jamie Lee Curtis is teaming up with April Fitzsimmons and Berlanti Productions for a drama project that has received a put pilot order at Fox. Titled “Chain of Command,” the one-hour project follows a young Air Force investigator with radical crime-solving methodology who returns to her hometown to join a military task force that doesn’t [...]

  • Michael MannLACMA: Art and Film Gala,

    TV News Roundup: Michael Mann to Direct and Executive Produce HBO Max's 'Tokyo Vice'

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO Max names MIchael Mann as a director and executive producer of “Tokyo Vice” and Chip and Joanna Gaines announce the first original series coming to the couple’s Magnolia Network. DATES Netflix announced a six-episode docuseries centered on Nasty Cherry, the latest all-female group signed to Charli XCX’s label will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content