BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British pubcaster, has increased its share in drama producer Clerkenwell Films and now owns 48% of the company that makes E4 and Netflix series “The End of the F***ing World.”
Clerkenwell also counts supernatural drama “Misfits,” which was on E4 and picked up by Netflix, and cop series “Rebus” among its credits. Its series “Lovesick” started on Channel 4 in the U.K. before Netflix acquired it and then greenlit subsequent seasons as Netflix originals.
Based on the Charles Forsman graphic novels, “The End of the F***ing World” launched on Netflix in January, as did Season 3 of “Lovesick.”
Murray Ferguson, who founded the production company in 1998, said it made strategic sense to forge closer relations with BBC Worldwide with the international opportunities on offer for drama programming.
“After working closely with Helen and the BBC Worldwide team for many years, we have found them to be astute, supportive and commercially smart in what is now a rapidly evolving and exciting time for scripted content,” Ferguson said, referring to Helen Jackson, the outgoing MD of content at BBC Worldwide. “With Clerkenwell expanding its ambitions and output both at home and abroad, it feels like the right time to be strengthening our links with such a highly respected global business.”
BBC Worldwide is in the throes of merging with BBC Studios. Jackson is the architect of many of its production company investments, including the deal to increase the Clerkenwell stake from 25% to 48%. It initially bought into the producer in 2008.
“This deeper investment in Clerkenwell represents a rare opportunity to take our long-term ambitions for one of the U.K.’s most respected scripted production companies that little bit further,” Jackson said. “We’ve enjoyed a close and commercially successful relationship with Murray and his team for over nine years now, and their slate continually remains fresh, thought-provoking and, above all, entertaining.”