Dan Grabiner, Amazon Studios’ Head of UK and Northern Europe, is leaving the streamer to create a new production company, Orchard Studios.

The prodco will be headquartered in London, with Grabiner assuming the role of CEO. He is joined by veteran executive Nicola Hill, formerly co-CEO of The Garden, who will assume the role of Managing Director, overseeing operations, production management and business affairs.

Since joining Prime Video in 2019, Grabiner has been responsible for managing a slew of hits, including The Grand Tour, the All or Nothing sports franchise, Clarkson’s FarmThe Devil’s HourThe Rig and the BAFTA award-winning Jungle. He is also behind 007: Road to a Million, the first James Bond television format, which launches on Prime Video later this year.

He founded the Prime Video Pathway initiative to upskill and diversify the creative industry, as well as building apprenticeship schemes at both Amazon and his previous employer ITN.

Dan Grabiner said: “I’ve loved building something big from scratch at Amazon and I’ve been lucky enough to do that with a brilliant team and mighty creative collaborators,” said Grabiner. “Now it’s time to do that again with Orchard and I’m fired-up about growing a new kind of studio, where ambitious ideas are nurtured into your favourite show.”

Nicola Hill said: “I’m thrilled to be working alongside Dan to launch Orchard Studios and build an ambitious, inclusive production company with a focus on creative excellence.”

Hill had a decade-long tenure at The Garden where she oversaw the company’s growth and large-scale productions including 24 Hours in Police CustodyReal PD24 Hours in A&E and the Studio Lambert Netflix co-production Squid Game: The Challenge.

The group are recruiting for various roles at Orchard, with the creative leadership team to be announced in due course. They are collaborating with Matisse; Nick Curwin, Scarlett Ewens and Edwina Silver providing creative, strategic and talent support. Orchard is an independent production company, with capital secured from a private media investment group. In keeping with Grabiner’s advocacy of broadening industry access and developing skills, Orchard will incorporate training pathways into its operations.

This is a return to the indie sector for Grabiner who ran development at ITN for seven years before joining Amazon. His credits there included Michael Palin in North KoreaInterview with a Murderer and Inside the Cockpit.

Jon Creamer

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