×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Peep Show’ Writers Set Up New Production Company With BBC Backing

Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong join with former Channel 4 executives Phil Clarke and Roberto Troni

The writers of hit comedy series “Peep Show” (pictured) and “Fresh Meat” have teamed up with a pair of well-known British commissioning executives to create new independent production company Various Artists Limited.

Writers Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong and ex-Channel 4 commissioning execs Phil Clarke and Roberto Troni have set up the new company with backing from BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, which has a 20% stake and is expected to sell Various Artists content internationally. The new indie will specialize in comedy and comedy-drama as well as straight drama.

Bain and Armstrong are among the best-known comedy writers in the U.K., working with Clarke on several Channel 4 projects. Clarke’s commissions while at the broadcaster included the pair’s latest series, “Back,” as well as Sharon Horgan’s “Catastrophe.” Clarke also worked with the writers while at Objective, the All3Media producer that makes “Peep Show.” Troni worked on shows such as Paul Abbott’s “No Offence” and acclaimed drama series “This Is England.”

The news had been expected after Clarke’s departure from Channel 4 earlier this year, and was made official Thursday. “We are delighted to have BBC Worldwide as our backer,” Clarke said. “They are incredibly supportive, understand the realities of producing scripted television and the editorial strategies and timescales required, as well as the commercial challenges of running a new production company.”

In a statement, Armstrong and Bain added: “We’re excited to have the backing of BBC Worldwide, [which has] a great track record in backing both comedy and drama. What’s more, as their name suggests, they have access to the whole wide world.”

Several attempts have been made to make a U.S. version of “Peep Show.” Fox was developing a U.S. show at one point, cable net Spike piloted a version, and premium cabler Starz has also tried to work up a U.S. series.

BBC Worldwide has been actively investing in British independent producers. It has stakes in companies including Lookout Point, 72 Films, Two Cities, and Mighty Productions.

“Phil and Roberto’s flawless track records in comedy and drama, coupled with the opportunity of a first look over television projects created by Sam and Jesse, makes this a particularly exciting creative and commercial opportunity for BBC Worldwide,” said Jonathan Blyth, commercial director, comedy, at BBC Worldwide.

More TV

  • Ariana Grande Olivia Munn Michael Che

    Celebrities vs. Critics: Why This Battle Has No Winners (Column)

    When actor Olivia Munn tweeted a “short essay on…ugly behaviors” late Wednesday night, she insisted that a blog had been unfairly maligning her for years. She wrote that she wanted to confront the idea that baseless critiques, particularly those aimed at women, are never okay no matter how famous the target may be. On the [...]

  • ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game in

    ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game Will Pitch Players Into the Action

    “Peaky Blinders” fans will be able to join the gang – virtually – in a new VR game that will allow players to interact with characters from the hit series. Start-up immersive studio Maze Theory teamed with the show’s producers and is making the game, which will launch in 2020. Artificial intelligence technology means characters [...]

  • TV News Roundup: HBO's 'Deadwood: The

    TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'Deadwood: The Movie' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released the trailer for the “Deadwood” film, and CNN announced a premiere date for “Apollo 11.”  DATES The documentary “Apollo 11” from director/producer Todd Douglas Miller will premiere on CNN Sunday, June 23 at 9 p.m. Using only archival sources, the film captures NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission. FIRST [...]

  • shannon ryan

    Shannon Ryan Joins Disney TV, ABC as Marketing Chief

    Former Fox Television chief marketing officer Shannon Ryan has been tapped as the new president of marketing for ABC Entertainment and Disney Television Studios. The announcement was made by Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, and Craig Hunegs, president of Disney Television Studios, to whom she will report. Rumours had been circling for a while [...]

  • Dan Lin's Rideback, MRC Announce Writers

    Dan Lin's Rideback, MRC Announce First Class of Writers and Mentors for TV Incubator

    Rideback, Dan Lin’s production company, and MRC have announced the inaugural class of writers and mentors for their TV incubator.  The new TV writers residency program, which was launched in February, offers a paid, eight-month residency program to a group of writers who have each previously been staffed on series and want to create their [...]

  • CBS Viacom

    CBS and Viacom Move Closer to Merger Talks

    The CBS Corp. board of directors is moving closer to initiating acquisition discussions with Viacom, according to multiple sources close to the situation. The move has been expected for months, although there may still be obstacles on the road to a reunion for the two sides of the Redstone media empire. Price could still be [...]

  • Santa Fe Studios Netflix

    Santa Fe Studios Competes With Other New Mexico Stages for Streaming Business

    Albuquerque Studios entered the spotlight last October when it was purchased by Netflix. While the complex is clearly the jewel in the crown of New Mexico’s production infrastructure, with eight soundstages totaling 132,000 square feet, 100,000 square feet of production offices, a large backlot and support space, it’s not the only modern studio facility in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content