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Ex-Nat Geo exec Francesca Johnson launches development and finance agency

Francesca Johnson has launched development, consultancy and finance agency Table41

Francesca Johnson, former director of development and production at National Geographic in the UK, has launched a development, consultancy and finance company called Table41.

The agency will serve as an incubator for new projects across the factual, fact ent and unscripted genres, alongside premium factual, limited drama and documentary series.

Table41 already has “several” projects in its development pipeline, according to the company, including soon-to-be-announced series with UK prodcos BossaNova Media, Atomic Television and Dare Pictures.

Aiming to take a new approach to TV development and financing, Table41 will connect experienced freelance executives with independent companies. The agency will prioritise specific commissioner briefs and individual projects “to ensure that collaborations move swiftly into execution.”

Table41 will also offer one-off project-based support, working with existing development teams across research, writing and the creation of premium pitch decks and sizzles.

Johnson worked for National Geographic for 11 years, during which time she oversaw development and worked with the London-based commissioning team on projects for its linear channels and Disney+, including Diana: In Her Own Words, Drain the Oceans, Inside North Korea’s Dynasty and Lost Cities.

She also worked with network heads across Asia, Europe and Latin America to identify strategic coproduction opportunities for locally-produced content. Her executive producer credits include Heroes of the Sky: The Real Mighty Eighth Air Force, 9/11: Control the Skies and India from Above.

Most recently, Johnson served as exec VP of content at Anyway Content, where she was responsible for building the start-up’s unscripted business and driving its scripted and unscripted development slate.

“We all know that our business is going through tough times and that it’s never been more difficult to get creative projects off the ground. But the truth is, you don’t need to be a mega label or a super indie to get a show greenlit — you need to be flexible, efficient and connected. Development can be a real drag in isolation and this agency is about growing your ‘table for one,’ expanding your network and creating the positive momentum needed to turn great ideas into even better shows,” Johnson said.

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