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Heyday Television president Tom Winchester sets up own production company

Tom Winchester, the president of NBCUniversal-owned Heyday Television, is setting up his own scripted firm called Pure Fiction Television.

Tom Winchester

Pure Fiction plans to be “creatively and financially autonomous” but is launching with a minority stake investment from Heartstopper and Top of the Lake producer See-Saw Films and talent agency Hamilton Hodell.

Winchester said he was seeking investment from like-minded and financially independent partners, allowing Pure Fiction to remain distributor agnostic and free to find the best homes for each show.

The company will be producing content for British and global markets and offer strategic partnerships with writers, actors and directors “seeking a greater say in the development and production of their own work.”

Winchester said, “At Pure Fiction, we want to reflect the changes afoot within our industry by redefining how partnerships work with talent. We believe in celebrating collaboration so that everyone benefits and we make the best work possible.”

In a joint statement, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films added: “Tom is a clear creative and entrepreneurial force, and we are excited to support him with our resources from See-Saw as Pure Fiction grows.”

As president of David Heyman’s Heyday, Winchester hired the company’s London- and LA-based teams and oversaw a slate of international dramas including Netflix’s Clickbait. He also executive produced The Capture for the BBC. This February, Heyday announced a straight-to-series order for Apples Never Fall, adapted from the latest novel by Big Little Lies author Lianne Moriarty, at NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

Before Heyday, Winchester was creative director at DNA Films, which produced Alex Garland’s Devs for FX and the BBC’s Black Narcissus.

The See-Saw group now includes in-house sales arm Cross City Films and film and TV financier Fulcrum Media, as well as creator-led joint venture Picking Scabs with writer Sam Strauss (The End), and I Am That with director Garth Davis (Lion), which is currently in production on sci-fi thriller Foe for Amazon Studios.

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