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ITV acquires World Productions

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has continued to build its stable of production companies by acquiring a majority stake in Line of Duty drama specialist World Productions.

Simon Heath

London-based World Productions is led by CEO Roger Charteris, creative director Simon Heath, MD Roderick Seligman and head of drama Jake Lushington.

Charteris will step down from the business as part of the takeover, with Heath adding CEO to his creative director title as he oversees the business alongside Seligman.

The company was previously owned by Marcus Evans Entertainment and has produced a string of successful British dramas, led by police thriller Line of Duty, which has just concluded a fourth run having moved from BBC2 to BBC1.

The company’s slate also includes The Bletchley Circle, Dark Angel, In Plain Sight, Code of a Killer, The Great Train Robbery and The Fear.

During the past year it has produced drama for four major UK broadcasters and is currently working on Save Me for Sky Atlantic. Four-part psychological thriller Born to Kill is airing on Channel 4.

BBC police thriller Line of Duty has completed its fourth season

ITV Studios’ (ITVS) distribution business ITV Studios Global Entertainment will manage international distribution of new series.

Julian Bellamy, ITVS’s MD, said: “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.

“I can’t wait to work with Simon’s team as they drive World Productions into a new phase of growth in the UK and beyond.”

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.”

World Productions joins ITV’s fast-growing portfolio of UK prodcos which already includes The Garden, Twofour and Mammoth Screen.

In the US, it has acquired a clutch of producers including Gurney Productions, Thinkfactory Media, Leftfield Entertainment and High Noon Entertainment.

It recently backed a separate TV studios launch by feature film producer Blumhouse in the US.

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