STV reveals new drama plans in STV Studios rebrand

Fri 21st Aug 2020

Industry News

STV Group his this week announced the rebranding of its production company from STV Productions to STV Studios.

The name change reflects the growing portfolio of businesses which are now part of the STV production family and the diverse multi-genre output of the company, and is a statement of intent about STV’s future growth.

Alongside its Drama, Factual and Entertainment divisions – led by Sarah Brown, Craig Hunter and Gary Chippington – STV Studios has interests in three other production companies at present:

– The business holds a majority stake in award-winning unscripted producer, Primal Media, the team behind a range of successful formats including Rose D’Or winning Big Heads for ITV, Jerk for Channel 4 and Carnage for Sky One. Led by Adam Wood and Mat Steiner, Primal Media has just won its first commission as part of the STV family, an ambitious 8 part series, Landmark for Sky Arts.

– In January 2020, STV acquired a minority stake in high-end drama producer, Two Cities, the company behind critically acclaimed Patrick Melrose, commissioned by Sky Atlantic and Showtime, and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The company is led by Michael Jackson, formerly BBC1 Controller and Channel 4 CEO, and Stephen Wright (Line of Duty, The Fall), and has an impressive pipeline of drama projects and scripts at an advanced stage.

– STV Studios also has an exclusive deal with respected drama producer Elaine Collins (Shetland, Vera) and her company, Tod Productions, to develop and co-produce a slate of distinctive, high quality TV drama projects.

STV said that its production teams have been innovative and worked tirelessly to support the recovery of the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrity Catchphrase was the first big entertainment show in the UK to go back into production post-lockdown, with the team safely and successfully filming ten episodes at Maidstone last month, and all other STV-produced programmes are now back filming. The Factual team secured and produced a series for Channel 5 during lockdown, The Palace and the Press. STV Studios drama team last month celebrated BAFTA nominations for the critically acclaimed The Victim and Elizabeth is Missing, with leading actress Glenda Jackson celebrating a win for her exceptional performance in Elizabeth is Missing.

Overall, the STV Studios said that its creative pipeline is in a very strong position. Across three drama labels STV has 68 projects in development, of which 35 are in funded development and 39 are at script development stage. Across their unscripted businesses there are some 75 projects in development, with a large number in advanced discussions with commissioners.

With bases in Glasgow, London and Northern Ireland, STV Studios said that the company and its affiliates are strongly positioned to address the growing market for high quality production from the Nations and Regions.

David Mortimer, Managing Director of STV Studios, said:

“I’m incredibly proud of the resilience and innovation shown by our production teams these past months and am delighted that all of STV’s shows are now back in production under strict safety protocols.

“This is a hugely exciting time for us and our rebrand to STV Studios more accurately reflects the kind of business we’ve evolved into and our ambition for the future. Alongside our own brilliant entertainment, drama and factual teams we’re growing our portfolio of partners, with Primal, Two Cities and Tod all valuable members of the STV family with creative leaders that I admire greatly.

“Across STV Studios’ now six creative labels our development pipeline is the strongest it has ever been. Together we’re delivering a host of diverse, high quality content from the nations and regions for multiple broadcasters, and I’m very excited about what the future holds for STV Studios.”

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