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Bob & Co restructures, rebrands

ETVF: UK-based media and entertainment company Bob & Co has reorganised its business and rebranded as a production group, including two new scripted companies.

Hilary Strong

Bob & Co is now The Anthology Group, the parent company to Anthology Studios, which comprises six television and film production companies, a theatre prodco and a licensing company.

The six TV and film companies are drama-focused Duchess Street Productions, headed by Donna Wiffen, former head of worldwide drama at FremantleMedia; film prodco SUMS Film & Media; and factual-skewing duo Woodcut Media and Spark TV, the latter focused on fact ent.

They were joined by the newly formed scripted production companies Mischief Screen and Rockfleet.

Mischief Screen was formed after Mischief Theatre – the company behind hit stage show The Play That Goes Wrong – linked up with producers Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence to develop and exploit Mischief work on television, in both the UK and internationally.

Mischief Screen will be headed by the Anthology Group’s CEO, Hilary Strong, who joined Bob & Co in September last year.

According to Anthology Group, Mischief Screen has already been commissioned and is currently exploring partnerships with US and international partners.

Rockfleet, meanwhile, is a new scripted comedy/drama production company led by former BBC comedy and drama producer Emma Smithwick and live comedy producer and director Phoebe Bourke.

The pair have the combined experience of producing over 160 hours for television and over 50 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. It is in discussions with UK, US and Irish commissioners for both longform and shortform scripted shows, according to Anthology Group.

Also part of the group is Anthology Advisory, which will continue to advise on investment opportunities in the best theatre and across all media platforms, Anthology said.

Media veteran Bob Benton founded Bob & Co in 2010 to bridge the gap between creativity and finance, operating The Cultural Capital Fund to invest in projects across television and film.

At Anthology, Benton and Strong will be joined by Jeremy Mills in his new role as chairman of Anthology Studios, which will initially focus on factual, comedy and drama production.

“Launching Anthology will allow us to move forward as a fully equipped production group, telling the best stories across television, theatre and film platforms alongside our existing investment and licensing businesses,” said Benton.

“Our focus is to develop and produce scripted and unscripted television, film, digital and theatre content and the new infrastructure will allow us to do that on an international scale.”

Strong added: “It is the right time to own rights, to finance their development and to have the talent to produce and exploit these across multiple media platforms within a single group.”


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