Viacom International Studios is to open new production centres in Madrid and Manchester, as part of an ongoing expansion of its international production capacity in both the English and Spanish languages.
Jill Offman will now assume management oversight of Viacom’s London-based production house, Elephant House Studios, which is being rebranded as Viacom International Studios UK with immediate effect.
At the same time, VIS UK will open a new production office in Manchester to support its push to secure English-language commissions from third party broadcasters and distributors based in the UK, in addition to the large volume of content it already produces locally for Channel 5 and Viacom’s pay TV channels.
The UK production outfit is currently filming its first-ever original production for a channel or platform not owned by Viacom, having been commissioned to produce a new prime time factual series for ITV. Full details will be published shortly.
VIS UK’s General Manager, Joe McLusky, and Creative Director, Ed Taylor, will now report to Offman, who as international brand head for both Comedy Central and Paramount Network already has oversight of comedy and drama productions for Viacom out of the UK. Offman is funding a number of scripted development projects with UK independent producers including a re-make of Bergerac from Artist Studios and a TV treatment of Amanda Craig’s novel Lie of the Land from Baby Cow.
David Lynn, CEO, Viacom International Media Networks, commented: “Broadcasters and streamers are in a global ‘arms race’ for the best content, which represents a significant growth opportunity for Viacom with our international studio capacity and in-built creative expertise, exemplified by Jill, Laura and Federico. As our competitors become more vertically integrated, Viacom is free to forge much deeper partnerships with all kinds of distributors internationally and for all types of content.”
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