Fremantle is acquiring a minority stake in Boldprint Studios, the newly formed production company from former Channel 4 Head of Entertainment, Phil Harris.
Boldprint Studios will focus on creating and developing “innovative, unscripted formats across reality, entertainment and factual entertainment for domestic and international broadcasters and streaming platforms.” Former Twofour Head of Entertainment, Lou Hutchinson, has been appointed the new company’s Creative Director.
The investment reunites the pair with Fremantle who were both former executives at Thames under Fremantle UK CEO, Amelia Brown.
Phil Harris says: “Our company blueprint will be built on creating bold, scalable global formats; an ambition which aligns perfectly with Fremantle’s global distribution plans.
Talent development on and off screen is key to our strategy, and that begins with Lou who I’m delighted is starting this journey with me. She’s an entertainment and reality powerhouse; an exceptional creative leader who’s consistently delivered huge scale formats at the highest level.”
Lou Hutchinson says: “Phil and I share two decades of friendship that’s spanned reality galleries, complex location shoots, ambitious live shows and everything in between. I’m so excited to build a brilliant team and slate of ideas together.”
Amelia Brown, Fremantle UK CEO, adds: “At Fremantle we are committed to working with the very best and Phil and Lou both have incredible passion, talent and commitment to not only creating the next big entertainment formats, but also in nurturing new talent. They have been behind some of the most talked about and cutting-edge shows of recent years and we are thrilled to welcome them back to the Fremantle family and look forward to supporting them in their ambitions for growth.”
Prior to starting Boldprint Studios, Harris oversaw Channel 4’s entertainment and events output including BAFTA winning, Taskmaster, The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan, 8 Out of 10 Cats and The Last Leg as well as new returning brands Jimmy Carr’s I Literally Just Told You and Claudia Winkleman’s, One Question. The role also saw him commission from across the factual and reality slate with shows such as BAFTA winning Joe Lycett vs David Beckham, Wonder’s of the World I Can’t See, Rosie Jones’ Trip Hazard, stripped reality event, Scared of the Dark and survival reality experiment, Tempting Fortune all under his watch. Before Channel 4, he was Creative Director of Fremantle label, Thames overseeing existing brands Take Me Out, Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor all for ITV as well as new content for major networks, The Greatest Dancer (BBC One), the reboot of Supermarket Sweep (ITV) and BAFTA nominated, Eating with My Ex (BBC Three).
Lou Hutchinson has been Head of Entertainment at Twofour since 2021, focussing on developing, producing and creating reality and entertainment hits including I Kissed a Boy (BBC Three), Make Me Prime Minister (Channel 4) and Loaded in Paradise, a flagship show for the launch of ITVX. Prior to Twofour, she worked with Thames, Initial and Lime Pictures with executive producer credits on entertainment programming including I Can See Your Voice (BBC One), The Greatest Dancer (BBC One), Big Brother (Channel 4), TOWIE (ITV2) and Celebs Go Dating(E4).
The investment in Boldprint Studios follows a number of acquisitions and step-ups made by Fremantle in recent years, including Belgium-based A Team Productions (Baghdad Messi, Land of the Heroes), UK production company Dancing Ledge Productions (The Responder, Big Mood), scripted Italian production company Lux Vide (Devils, Leonardo), international development and production company Fabel (Bosch), Australian-American television production company Eureka Productions (Parental Guidance, Finding Magic Mike), Irish production company Element Pictures (Normal People, Poor Things), 72 Films (All or Nothing: Arsenal, 9/11: One Day in America), Wildstar Films (America The Beautiful, Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory) and Silvio Productions (Shadow of Truth, The Baby Daddy, Buried).
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