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December 2017

In the magazine
Only available in print
  • The Televisual Commercials 30
    Jon Creamer introduces Televisual's exclusive annual report, the Commercials 30, and finds that while budgets are down and production companies are under threat from agency in-house units, commercials producers are finding new horizons beyond ads too.
  • Commercials 30: Best in Show
    Commercials producers also get to vote for their favourite directors, stand out ads and top rated agencies along with their favourite post houses, editors and vfx ops. We reveal the results
  • Commercials 30: The Top 30
    Televisual reveals the Commercials 30 itself, the 30 top rated commercials production companies in the UK
  • Music in Motion
    So what’s next for the music behind the commercials? Will it be another year in the ascendant for London Grime perhaps? Portugese house? Afro beats or the Angolan kuduro sound?
  • Televisual Factual Festival report
    Last month saw Televisual's annual Factual Festival return to Bafta. How to stand out in a world of ever increasing viewer choice was the big theme this time. Tim Dams reports
  • Alison Kirkham in interview
    At the Televisual Factual Festival, the BBC's controller of factual Alison Kirkham outlined the shows the corporation is looking for in the year ahead
From the magazine
Available to read online
  • 2017: the year in review
    Two very different stories – the rise of SVOD players and the Harvey Weinstein abuse allegations – defined TV’s year. Tim Dams reports
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Production 100 2012 Back to Reports & survey Listing

21 Neal Street Productions
head of film and TV Pippa Harris
head of theatre Caro Newling
company director Sam Mendes
turnover £15.47m staff 6
key shows Call the Midwife (BBC1) The Hollow Crown (BBC2)

Neal Street Productions is the highest new entrant to the Production 100 this year. Set up in 2003 by film director Sam Mendes and producers Pippa Harris and Caro Newling, the company’s focus was initially entirely on feature films and theatre – such as Revolutionary Road, Starter for Ten, Jarhead, Shrek the Musical and Enron. However, in the last two years Neal Street has deliberately switched focus towards TV drama production. And it has had huge success in doing so, scoring ratings and critical acclaim for Call the Midwife (an astonishing 11.4m watched the drama’s finale) and Shakespeare season The Hollow Crown. “We plan to continue expanding this side of the business,” says head of film and TV Pippa Harris, the former head of BBC drama commissioning.  She says that business prospects look good for the next 12 months. “The proposed introduction of tax breaks for high end drama is to be welcomed and should give a real boost to our industry.” Call the Midwife is returning for a Christmas special, ahead of a second series next year.

22 Pulse Films
ceo Thomas Benski coo Marisa Clifford
turnover £15m staff 41 commissions 9 hrs 18
key shows Professor Green - Unseen (C4) Studio in Session (MTV)

Pulse Films climbs two places in this year’s Production 100, with turnover up to £15m from last year’s £12m. It’s been a year of transition at the diversified TV, commercials and music production outfit. Pulse said last November that is had put plans to expand via acquisitions on ice and that Lorraine Heggessey, the former TalkbackThames chief exec, had ended her spell advising the company. Heggessey’s time as a consultant to Pulse, whose investors include Sir Harry Solomon, had been expected to lead to a number of acquisitions. In August, Pulse - best known as the producer of Pineapple Dance Studios - bought back stakes in the company from a number of its major shareholders, including head of talent and music Jamie Clark who stepped down. Details of a wider strategic plan at Pulse are expected to be unveiled later this year. Pulse was recently commiss

23 Aardman Animations
exec chairman David Sproxton
creative dir Peter Lord director Nick Park 
finance director Kerry Lock
turnover £14.9m profit £222k staff 113
commissions 7 hrs 4.3
key shows DC Funnest (Warner Bros) Ricky’s Radical Reinventions featuring Morph & Chas (CBBC) Shaun the Sheep Championsheeps (CBBC)

Legendary Bristol animation studio Aardman is a diversified business, with TV accounting for 29% of turnover, commercials 45%, film 13% and new media 4%. There’s been change at the top of Aardman’s TV division, with the company’s highly regarded head of broadcast Miles Bullough leaving at the end of June. Bullough, whose credits include some of Aardman’s best known shows - including Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep - is consulting for Aardman and also plans to work on his own projects. Earlier this year, Aardman brought its legendary characters Morph and Chas back to the screen for new CBBC show Ricky’s Radical Reinventions. Aardman also played a key part in the successful campaign for tax breaks for the animation sector, announced in the Budget in March. It’s expected to be a key beneficiary – some positive news in what, says finance director Kerry Lock, has been a “tough” year for the company.ioned by C4 to make a music doc featuring a collaboration between singer Bjork and Sir David Attenborough. CEO Thomas Benski says Pulse has opened offices in the US and France this year, and is hoping to have “two or three big shows on air next year.”

24 Rondo
chairman Robin Evans ceo Gareth Williams finance director Alwyn Davies
staff 63 turnover £14m commissions 29 hrs 337
key shows Rownd a Rownd (S4C) The Indian Doctor (BBC1) Sgorio (S4C)

Welsh indie Rondo this year produced a second series of its BBC1 drama series The Indian Doctor, and also its first factual order for C4. Rondo has, says chief exec Gareth Williams, invested £650k in a new post-production, office and studio facility in Caenarfon in North Wales, and also in Cardiff. Rondo’s biggest show, Rownd a Rownd, has been commissioned for further two series, and it has retained the TV rights to the Eisteddfod for three more years.

25 Firecracker Films
ceo Mark Soldinger
md Sue Oriel
head of programmes Jes Wilkins
turnover £13.4m staff 24
commissions 18 hrs 52
key shows Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (C4)
Thelma’s Gypsy Girls (C4)
Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 (BBC3)

26 = Fresh One Productions
md Roy Ackerman
head of operations Jo Ralling
head of production Gudren Claire
turnover £13.3m profit £2.5m staff 17
commissions 26 hrs 85
key shows Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals (C4)
Jonathan Dimbleby: South America (BBC)
Two Greedy Italians (BBC)

26 =Red Production
chief exec Nicola Shindler md Andrew Critchley
turnover £13.3m profit £2m staff 10
commissions 9 hrs 46
key shows Exile (BBC1), Scott & Bailey (ITV1), Bedlam (Sky Living)

28 =Big Talk Productions
ceos Kenton Allen, Nira Park md Matthew Justice
turnover £13m staff 17 commissions 10 hrs 29.5
key shows Rev (BBC) Threesome (Comedy Central) Friday Night Dinner (C4)

28=Parthenon Media Group

ceo Carl Hall director of production Danny Tipping
turnover £13m profit £2.5m staff 48
commissions 19 hrs 28
key shows Comic Store Heroes (NGC Global)
Light The Ocean (NGCI/NGC US)
Wild Alaska (Animal Planet)

30 Zig Zag Productions
ceo Danny Fenton coo Kevin Utton 
turnover £12.8m staff 20
commissions 16 hrs 61
key shows Greatest Football Ads Ever Made (ITV1)
Scam Cities (Nat Geo)
Confessions of a Sex Addict (BBC3)

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