ITV has acquired a majority stake in World Productions, the company behind critically acclaimed drama Line of Duty.

The finale of series four of Line of Duty concluded on Sunday evening on BBC1 with an audience of 7.5m, the series’ best ever rating.

Under CEO Roger Charteris, Creative Director Simon Heath, Managing Director Roderick Seligman, Head of Drama Jake Lushington and previous owner Marcus Evans Entertainment, World Productions has produced dramas including The Bletchley Circle, Dark Angel, In Plain Sight, Code of a Killer, The Great Train Robbery and The Fear.

Over the last 12 months it has produced drama for four major UK broadcasters. World Productions is currently producing Save Me for Sky Atlantic, a new series written by and starring Line of Duty’s Lennie James with Suranne Jones, and four-part psychological thriller Born to Kill is currently airing on Channel 4.

ITV Studios’ distribution business, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, will manage international distribution of new series.

World Productions’ Charteris will step down from the business, with Creative Director and new CEO Simon Heath and Managing Director Roderick Seligman continuing to oversee the creative and day-to-day management.

Julian Bellamy, Managing Director, ITV Studios, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Simon and the World Productions team into the ITVS family. World has made a name for itself as one the country’s foremost drama producers with a raft of brilliant, stand out series from BBC’s Line of Duty to Channel 4’s Born to Kill."

Simon Heath said: "We’re delighted to be linking up with Julian and his terrific team at ITVS. With their support, we’re looking to build on the success of the last five years and expand into the future."

Charteris said: "We are immensely proud of how far World Productions has come and to be handing over a company which is producing some of the very finest British television drama."

Staff Reporter

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