BBC Studios has increased its holding in War and Peace drama indie Lookout Point to 100%, in line with the option agreed in 2016.
Lookout Point will now become an independent scripted studio within BBC Studios. It will continue to be led by joint CEOs, Simon Vaughan and Faith Penhale, and will operate from its own offices, maintain its own creative and cultural identity and continue to work with various broadcasters globally.
The five-year-old London-based company now employs a 25-strong team working across its upcoming titles which include Press for the BBC and Masterpiece, written by Mike Bartlett and starring Charlotte Riley and Ben Chaplin; Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th century classic, Les Misérables, currently filming in Belgium and Northern France and starring Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins; Gentleman Jack, a BBC/HBO co-commission penned by Sally Wainwright and starring Suranne Jones, in production in Yorkshire; and Vikram Seth’s masterpiece A Suitable Boy, also adapted by Andrew Davies and directed by Mira Nair.
Tim Davie, CEO, BBC Studios, said: “Today’s announcement marks an important next step in our longstanding and successful relationship with Lookout Point. We share the same ambitions and vision around the importance of collaborating to deliver some of the very best and boldest British dramas to audiences at home and across the globe.
“Increasing our investment in the company enables us to cement the partnership on a permanent basis and ensures Lookout Point can continue to realise its full potential as a leading British drama player, working independently with the very best talent on and off-screen in the industry.”
Simon Vaughan, Chairman and Joint CEO, Lookout Point commented: “Our shared mindset over the past eight years has resulted in a fruitful relationship between Lookout Point and BBC Studios, delivering and distributing titles including War and Peace, Ripper Street and Parade’s End. BBC Studios’ respect for how we work and our creative ambition coupled with our understanding of how they can help us achieve further growth and success underpins our partnership."
Faith Penhale, Joint CEO and Creative Director added: “Maintaining our independent spirit and ability to push the boundaries of our creative intent is paramount to us as a British drama company. BBC Studios’ backing, support and partnership creates a stable and long-term environment in which we can continue to build an ambitious range of titles, and provide a nurturing home for the incredible portfolio of talent who choose to work with us.”
This latest step between the two companies follows an eight year relationship that began as a distribution deal in 2010. This was followed by a series of equity stakes by BBC Studios, then BBC Worldwide, from 35% to 49% in 2016.
Lookout Point will continue to manage its own sales and marketing activity in partnership with BBC Studios.
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