Banijay UK has announced its acquisition of scripted independent producer, The Forge (The Marriage, Help and Becoming Elizabeth).

The producer, which has a well-established reputation for high-quality, ambitious and award-winning TV drama, joins the Banijay UK stable of companies with immediate effect following the completion of the acquisition deal. This deal includes a first-look deal for Banijay Rights.

The Forge currently has multiple, high profile new titles for both linear and SVOD platforms in production, including a major 8-part series, The Buccaneers for Apple TV+, due to launch globally on November 8; 4-part Disney + series Shardlake by Stephen Butchard (The Last Kingdom) due to release next year; a factual drama about the Grenfell disaster by Peter Kosminsky (Undeclared War, Government Inspector, Wolf Hall) for BBC One; a youth-skewing drama series for BBC Three that will film next year; and Generation Z, a six-part series and the first original TV project from Ben Wheatley (The Meg II, Sightseers, Kill List) currently shooting for Channel 4.

The Forge’s senior creative team include Founder and Managing Director, George Faber, Mark Pybus (Executive Producer/ Head of Business Affairs), Beth Willis (Executive Producer) and George Ormond (Executive Producer).

Banijay UK says the acquisition will bolster its scripted output, and bring the number of scripted labels under the Banijay UK umbrella to eleven including wholly owned labels Kudos, Tiger Aspect and Wild Mercury.

Patrick Holland, CEO Banijay UK, said of the deal: “I have been a massive admirer of The Forge since its inception. George Faber, Mark Pybus, Beth Willis and George Ormond have together grown one of the most ambitious and exciting drama slates in the UK. With a commitment to the most distinctive authorship, a desire to make shows of the highest quality and a creative commitment to make drama that appeals to broad audiences, The Forge is an extraordinary group of talented producers. We are so delighted that they have chosen Banijay UK as their partners for their next chapter of growth and I can’t wait for them to join the other brilliant companies in the group.”

George Faber, Founder of The Forge added: “We’re thrilled to be going into partnership with Banijay, a company whose culture and values feel like a great fit for The Forge. We’re ambitious for the next stage of our growth and we believe that Banijay’s superb distribution arm, production expertise, management team and global reach will help us chart an exciting path to the future.”

The Forge boasts an impressive slate of titles including National Treasure (C4), Ackley Bridge (C4), The Miniaturist (BBC), Kiri (C4), Help (C4), Marriage (BBC), Becoming Elizabeth (Starz), Collateral (BBC), Rules of the Game (BBC), Roadkill (BBC) and more. The company has picked up a wealth of awards for its programmes, including the BAFTA for Mini-Series (National Treasure) and the International Emmy for Best TV Movie (Help).

Michael Burns

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