Sky Studios, the production arm of Comcast’s European pay-TV operator Sky, has taken a minority stake in The Lighthouse. The drama series production outfit was founded last fall by Hilary Salmon, Radford Neville and Nick Betts – three of the U.K.’s most experienced television professionals.
Salmon, former head of drama for BBC Studios, has developed and produced many hit dramas, including “Luther,” “Three Girls,” “MotherFatherSon,” “Rillington Place” and “Silent Witness.” Prior to this she was executive producer on both the BAFTA award-winning series “Criminal Justice,” and the multi-Emmy winning U.S. reversion of the show for HBO – “The Night Of.” Salmon has also co-produced other shows with HBO, including “Five Days” and “House of Saddam,” which won a Grierson Award.
Neville was previously managing director of drama at BBC Studios, and prior to this worked as head of production in drama, overseeing international hit series including “Doctor Who” and “Good Omens” for Amazon/BBC. During many years as a producer and executive producer, Radford worked on titles as diverse as ITV’s crime drama “DCI Banks,” “Wuthering Heights,” starring Tom Hardy, “Loving Miss Hatto,” written by Victoria Wood, and “The Borrowers,” starring Stephen Fry, Christopher Eccleston and Sharon Horgan.
Betts was the first managing director of scripted for the newly formed BBC Studios. There he led a production division with more than 500 creative, business and operational staff, overseeing series including “War and Peace,” “This Country,” “Inside No 9” and “Doctor Who.” Prior to that he was controller of business for BBC Drama, Films and Acquisitions, managing all financial, commercial and legal aspects of the drama commissioning slate. He left BBC Studios in 2018 to work in the independent sector.
The Lighthouse will produce “quality, compelling scripted series for U.K. and international broadcasters and streaming platforms,” it said in a statement. It already has a number of projects in development including an adaptation of Howard Mark’s cult autobiography, “Mr Nice,” a co-production with Independent Film Company, written by Neil Forsyth (BBC’s “Guilt”). Salmon will also be an executive producer on a new drama series for AMC, “61st Street,” written by Peter Moffat and set in Chicago.
The Sky Studios deal will strengthen The Lighthouse’s ability to develop high-end productions internationally, accelerate its growth and enable the company to expand its creative team, it said.
Gary Davey, CEO, Sky Studios said: “Hilary, Radford and Nick are three of the most renowned drama players in the broadcast field today. They share our vision to make thought-provoking, relevant dramas for audiences both in the U.K. and worldwide.”