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F@L’s Format Factory links with DRG

Free@Last TV created Agatha Raisin for pay operator Sky

The founders of the UK producer behind Sky drama Agatha Raisin, which launched a sister company focused on unscripted last year, have struck a partnership with UK distributor DRG.

The Format Factory, from Free@Last TV founders and joint creative directors Barry Ryan and David Walton, represents both creative content and IP owners.

It focuses purely on unscripted while Free@Last TV, which was behind Agatha Raisin for UK pay operator Sky, now concentrates on drama.

Many of the initial formats for The Format Factory will come from the Free@Last TV catalogue, including tribute artist biography show Legendary, interactive singing format Bouncing Ball, reality TV reinvention format Nashvilified and bio format Hello! I Thought You Were Dead.

The business also has large-scale concert format Celebration on its slate, a biography and tribute show aimed at primetime slots and partnerships with creatives including David Hedges, Benjamin Field and Vincent Woodward.

The deal with Modern Times Group-backed DRG will see the companies working together to develop new format ideas, which the distributor will sell globally.

Kate Cundall, DRG’s senior VP of acquisitions, who negotiated the deal with The Format Factory, said a major reason for the pact was because of the company’s “collaborative development approach similar to our own. They are already bringing great talent into The Format Factory and nurturing it to create stand-out properties.”

Ryan added: “The Format Factory is a way of using the expertise and properties that we had before we went into scripted production at Free@Last.

“We have a huge catalogue of existing IP and a large slate in development, all of which will benefit hugely from some of DRG’s creative and commercial thinking, as well as financial support.”

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