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November 2019

In the magazine
Only available in print
  • The Facilities 50
    Jon Creamer launches Televisual's 32nd exclusive annual Facilities 50 survey featuring the top post production houses in the UK and 48 pages of analysis of the sector
  • Aim High
    10 page special report on production at the high end. We take a look at what’s new in colour management, pre visualisation, aerial filming, full frame shooting, the role of the DIT, working with Dolby Atmos, choosing the right codec, booking studios and
  • Drama: Genre Report
    As the streaming revolution gathers pace, with Apple TV+ and Disney+ now entering the SVOD fray, Tim Dams reports on the drama strategies of traditional broadcasters in an increasingly competitive market
  • Live Sport: Technology
    Live sports and events coverage, always on the cutting edge of innovation, is being transformed by new technology from remote production to 5G and immersive sound. Michael Burns reports
  • The Art of the Grade
    The grade provides a consistent ‘look’ to a drama, but a great grade can enhance mood, focus and narrative flow. Jon Creamer asks the experts behind Paddington, Ad Astra, Bohemian Rhapsody, Fleabag and more how it’s done
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Production 100, 2014 Back to Reports & survey Listing

11. Left Bank
(Sony Pictures TV)
ceo Andy Harries
md Marigo Kehoe
exec producer Michael Casey
turnover £49m staff 24 hrs 23
key shows DCI Banks (ITV), Cardinal Burns (C4), Mad Dogs (Sky), Strike Back: Shadow Warfare (Sky)

Drama producer Left Bank rises from 15th to 11th place this year, with turnover up from £36m to £49m. Now owned by Sony’s UK production division, it now has a handful of returning series to bank on including DCI Banks, Mad Dogs and Strike Back as well as sketch show Cardinal Burns. Growth, says Left Bank, is coming from production for international broadcasters.

12. Wall To Wall
(Warner Bros UK)
ceo Leanne Klein
md Richard Thomson
head of production Helena Ely
turnover £48.4m hrs 74
key shows The Voice UK (BBC1), Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC1), New Tricks (BBC1), Child Genius (C4), Long Lost Family (ITV1)

Wall to Wall’s strong reputation was confirmed at last year’s Edinburgh TV Festival where it was voted production company of the year. It also won a Bafta for ITV’s Long Lost Family. It has strong brands in all key genres – drama (New Tricks), entertainment (The Voice) and factual (Who Do You Think You Are?). The outlook looks good too, with eight returning series and new shows in the pipeline.
13. Studio Lambert
ceo Stephen Lambert
head of development Tim Harcourt
head of production Jo Crawley
turnover £47.1m staff 50 hrs 86
key shows Undercover Boss (C4), Gogglebox (C4), Girlfriends (ITV2), Four in a Bed (C4)

Just six years old, Studio Lambert has leapt up the Production 100 since its launch. Stephen Lambert’s outfit has made strong headway in the US with commissions like Undercover Boss for CBS, and now earns an impressive 59% of its revenues from international broadcasters. Gogglebox, one of the stand out factual hits of recent years, is being remade as far afield as China.

14. Kudos
(Shine Group)
ceo Jane Featherstone
coo Dan Isaacs
head of development Naomi De Pear
turnover £45.9m staff 37 hrs 41
key shows The Tunnel (Sky1), The Smoke (Sky1), From There to Here (BBC1)

Drama producer Kudos has been garlanded with awards this year, including four Baftas, for Broadchurch and Utopia. Highly regarded within the industry (it ranks third in the Production 100 Peer Poll), Kudos has produced 41 hours of drama this year, including remake The Tunnel and Sky’s high octane The Smoke. The business climate, says chief operating officer Dan Isaacs, is “very healthy”, with “lots of opportunity but also increasing competition”. He adds there’s also greater competition for crew and talent due to the influx of productions accessing the UK tax credit for drama. Turnover is up slightly from £43.5m to £45.9m.

15. Initial
(Endemol UK)
md Nick Samwell-Smith
creative director Mirella Breda
head of production Sandra Smith
turnover £45.3m staff 14 hrs 311
key shows Big Brother (C5), Your Face Sounds Familiar (ITV), Knight Club (BBC3), Prize Island (ITV)

Big Brother producer Initial continues to keep the format alive on C5. Md Nick Samwell-Smith points to other highlights too, including Soccer Aid 2014, which raised over £4m for Unicef. Business, he says, feels more positive with “more opportunities generally – things are moving faster.”

16. Hat Trick
md Jimmy Mulville
turnover £37m staff 65 hrs 48
key shows Have I Got News For You? (BBC1), Room 101 (BBC1), The Revolution Will Be Televised (BBC3), Some Girls (BBC3), The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (ITV)

Veteran indie Hat Trick was launched back in 1986 by Jimmy Mulville, Denise O’Donoghue and Rory McGrath and is best known for producing long runners Have I Got News for You? and Room 101. One of the biggest and last remaining true indies, Hat Trick had an unhappy spell under private equity ownership but bought itself back in 2009. It has fared well since, producing diverse programming across comedy, drama, entertainment and factual.

17. Shine TV
(Shine Group)
md Kelly Webb-Lamb 
creative director Tanya Shaw
head of programming Tim Whitwell
turnover £33m staff 32 hrs 170
key shows MasterChef (BBC), The Island with Bear Grylls (C4), Quads: Our First Year (ITV)

MasterChef celebrated its 10th series this year and successfully continues to underpin Shine TV’s business. The indie originally founded by Elisabeth Murdoch has also had a genuine hit on its hands with The Island With Bear Grylls on Channel 4. Shine drama Merlin ended in December 2012 after five series, which explains the indie’s fall in turnover from £44m to £33m.

18. Objective
ceo Andrew Newman
mds Paul Sandler, Michael Vine
head of production Debi Roach
turnover £30.1m staff 60 hrs 114
key shows Fresh Meat (C4), Derren Brown (C4), Cube (ITV), Tool Academy (E4), Breaking Magic (Discovery) Toast of London (C4)

From its heartland in comedy and magic, Objective has built a diversified portfolio of shows that spans entertainment (including The Cube), comedy (Toast of London, Fresh Meat), factual (including Mother of Invention) and kids (Help My Supply Teacher is Magic).

19. RDF Television
(Zodiak Media)
md Jim Allen
creative director Teresa Watkins
head of production Angela Oakhill
turnover £30m staff 120 hrs 330
key shows Beauty Queen or Bust (C4), Wheelers, Dealers and Del Boys (C4), Sitting on a Fortune (ITV3)

The largest indie within the Zodiak Media group, RDF is run by former ITV Studios head of factual and entertainment Jim Allen. Founded by ex-Zodiak Media boss David Frank (who left last year) in 1993, RDF produces factual and daytime staples including Dickinson’s Real Deal as well as entertainment formats such as Tipping Point and Lucky Stars for ITV. Based in West London, RDF also has a significant presence in Bristol. RDF produced 330 hours last year.

20. Boundless
md Patrick Holland
head of production Esther Johnson
head of development Hannah Brownhill
turnover £27.6m staff 22 hrs 136
key shows The Apprentice (BBC1), Grand Designs (C4), Escape To The Country (BBC), Four Rooms (C4)

Factual producer Boundless is steadily climbing the Production 100, rising from 24th last year to 20th this year, on a turnover of £27.6m compared to £23.8m. Md Patrick Holland has sought to keep key returners like The Apprentice, Four Rooms and Grand Designs fresh, while launching new shows such as BBC2’s An Hour to Save Your Life.

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