Distributor DRG is hoping to find the next Prime Suspect by partnering with Sally Head Productions (SHP), with support coming from STV Productions.
DRG will fund development and overheads, and make up any deficit on new dramas created by the production company behind Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith.
Sally Head herself is a former executive producer of Prime Suspect, winning Emmy awards for her work.
DRG and SHP looked at 40 to 50 ideas based on novels and original scripts while setting up the deal, which they have now narrowed down to 12.
An adaptation of best-selling thriller Perfect People, written by Peter James, is one of the partnership’s first projects.
“Some are books, some are original projects, all have one theme: they are British and have the potential to be long-running series. We are steering away from one-offs,” said DRG chief executive Jeremy Fox.
Under the deal, STV Productions will help to finance the productions and provide facilities and support, building on the relationship it already has with DRG, which is its distributor.
Fox said: “Dramas are expensive to make but they bring in very good revenue, and a long-running drama can define a company. From Midsomer Murders to Shameless, which has 100 episodes, these types of programmes establish you. Our top-selling programme is Doc Martin.”
Sally Head said she was focused on “popular, quality drama, featuring some of the UK’s top new and established talent on both sides of the camera”.
“Our most recent series was Without You, based on the Nicci French novel and starring Anna Friel,” she added.
“It’s one of ITV’s most successful new dramas and we’re looking forward to producing new series that will delight audiences at home and internationally.”
Broadcast, 26 July, 2012 |