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Lionsgate invests in C4’s Damned

Jo Brand in Damned

Series creator Jo Brand in Damned

Lionsgate International UK has backed its first British television show by investing in Channel 4 (C4) sitcom Damned.

The UK arm of the US producer-distributor will co-finance and coproduce the 6×30’ series, which follows the lives of social workers battling to keep their office afloat in an age of austerity. It will also distribute the show worldwide.

Damned, written by and starring British comedian Jo Brand, is coproduced by her indie What Lark Productions for C4, which ordered the series last month.

The deal marks Lionsgate International UK’s first investment in a solely UK commissioned production and follows its recent acquisition of a 25% stake in London-based drama and comedy production company Kindle Entertainment.

“We’re continuing to build our Lionsgate UK television brand alongside a premier film brand that Zygi Kamasa and his team have already established as an industry leader,” said Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs.

“We look forward to partnering with our friends at Channel 4 on this fresh, irreverent and timely comedy that will make an exciting addition to our slate.”

Created by Brand, Will Smith (The Thick Of It) and actress Morwenna Banks, Damned will be directed by Ian Fitzgibbon and executive produced by Claire Whalley.

The series, which starts shooting in the UK this month, began as a one-off special as part of Sky Arts’ Playhouse Presents strand in 2014.

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