ITV Studios has taken over “Line of Duty” production company World Productions, it was announced Tuesday. ITV plc took a majority stake in World Productions, which produces the hit crime drama for the BBC.
Roger Charteris, CEO of World Productions, will step down with the company’s creative director Simon Heath taking on the role as CEO. Managing director Roderick Seligman will continue to oversee day-to-day management.
“World has made a name for itself as one the country’s foremost drama producers with a raft of brilliant, stand out series,” said Julian Bellamy, managing director of ITV Studios. “I can’t wait to work with Simon’s team as they drive World Productions into a new phase of growth in the UK and beyond.”
“Line of Duty” debuted on BBC Two in 2012 where is ran for three seasons becoming the channel’s highest rated drama series in 15 years. Following its break-out success the BBC moved the fourth season, which saw “Westworld” star Thandie Newton join series regulars Adrian Dunbar, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston in the cast, to flagship channel BBC One. The final episode of season four aired Sunday drawing 7.5 million viewers, the show’s best ever rating.
As well as “Line of Duty” World Productions has recently produced “Born to Kill,” starring Romola Garai and Jack Rowan, currently airing on Channel 4, and is in production on Lennie James’ “Save Me” for Sky Atlantic, due to air later this year. Other productions include “The Bletchley Circle” for ITV and “The Secret Agent,” starring Toby Jones, for the BBC.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment will manage international distribution of World Productions’ new series.