BBC Studios, the BBC’s commercial production and distribution arm, is intent on growing its portfolio of U.K. scripted labels. It already wholly owns Lookout Point (“Happy Valley 3”), Clerkenwell Films (“Somewhere Boy”), House Productions (“Sherwood”) and most recently Firebird Pictures (“Wahala”) and is the controlling shareholder in Baby Cow (“Chivalry”).
In 2018 it acquired a 51% stake in Sid Gentle, which was founded in 2013 by Sally Woodward Gentle, with Lee Morris and Henrietta Colvin.
The production company has also been responsible foe shows including “The Durrells,” “Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories” and the upcoming Disney+ series “Extraordinary” and is currently working on “Rain Dogs,” starring Daisy May Cooper.
BBC Studios CEO Tom Fussell, speaking at Mipcom on Monday, said: “I’m delighted to announce the full acquisition of Sid Gentle Films. Led by Sally Woodward Gentle and Lee Morris, Sid Gentle is home to unmissable returning hits. Best known for BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning ‘Killing Eve,’ the future slate is just as exciting.”
Woodward Gentle said: “We couldn’t be more delighted to continue our journey with BBC Studios. They have been the most supportive, collaborative and creative partner. It is an honour to work with the most wonderful team at Sid and to feel a shared ambition and outlook with BBC Studios.”
BBC Studios also announced on Monday that its most senior scripted exec, Mark Linsey, is set to relocate to Los Angeles in order to help build BBC Studios’ co-production, investment and commissioning opportunities internationally.
Linsey will continue to report to BBC Studios Productions CEO Ralph Lee and work closely with Janet Brown, BBC Studios’ president of content distribution for North and Latin America, and Valerie Bruce, GM and leader of BBC Studios’ Los Angeles Productions.
“Under the leadership of Mark Linsey, previously BBC director of television and BBC studios chief creative officer, we are investing in the U.K.’s most exciting talent and creative labels,” Fussell said during his Mipcom address. “I am thrilled to share today that Mark will relocate from London to L.A. to grow further BBC Studios’ commitment to the West Coast and our shared creative ambition.”
Linsey said: “Taking our world-class portfolio of labels and units direct to the heart of the world’s largest English language scripted market is a natural next step. I look forward to working closer than ever with U.S. based colleagues and customers to fund and create unique new series for the world to enjoy.”