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Top execs join Studio21


Studio21, the C21-backed next-generation talent incubator, has announced the line-up of its core team and advisory board, featuring some of the most prolific writers, showrunners and executives in the business.

The company has also launched its website at, which features further detail of its mission, writers and projects.

US writer/showrunner Simon Mirren and Script Angel founder Hayley McKenzie join as partners, alongside Mark Rowland, Ravi Ruparel and chief executive David Jenkinson.

Studio21 has also announced the first six members of its advisory board, which includes HBO, Starz and Legendary Global programming supremo Chris Albrecht; leading exec producer Anne Thomopoulos; and top international writer/showrunners Emma Frost, Matthew Graham, Yule Caise and his partner in Behind The Billboards, Nick Bain.

Collectively they are responsible for the commissioning, creation, writing or showrunning of series including Sex & the City, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Band of Brothers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, Power, Outlander, American Gods, Vida, The Girlfriend Experience, Black Sails, Ash vs Evil Dead, Now Apocalypse, From the Earth to the Moon, Rome, Generation Kill, Camelot, Borgia, The Collection, Britannia, The Spanish Princess, The White Princess, The White Queen, Jamaica Inn, Shameless, This Life, Ashes To Ashes, Doctor Who, Life On Mars, Heroes and many more.

David Jenkinson

Chief executive David Jenkinson said: “As Studio21 continues its mission to discover and develop the most exciting new writers and projects from around the world, we are delighted to welcome such an amazing group of partners and advisors to support the initiative.

“The core team, and our prolific advisory board, will allow us to make better decisions, test our hunches, and provide the writers and projects we take on with an unrivalled scope of vision that will give them the very best shot at success.”

Simon Mirren

Simon Mirren has written, produced and directed over 300 hours of primetime US network television, ultimately showrunning the global hit franchise Criminal Minds, now concluding its 15th season. Previously, he has worked on Versailles, Spooks, Waking The Dead, Third Watch and Without a Trace. He also leads C21’s Writers Room training initiative and has run a raft of other writer/showrunner training initiatives worldwide.

“Great stories unify us all, especially during a time of such insane uncertainty,” he said. “We are witnessing a global unity of voices demanding fundamental change to represent the truths of our time. Studio21 is one of few companies in our industry to have access to a broad range of new voices from all constituencies.

“C21 has always been a company that represents an equality that has been so outrageously lacking in many other places. I am so grateful to have played a small part in its journey to date, and am beyond excited to be part of the Studio21 team as we seek to build on the company’s reputation and position in the market.”

Hayley McKenzie

Hayley McKenzie is founder and CEO of Script Angel, a professional writer development and training organisation for the global content business. Formerly a development and script executive, she has over 20 years’ experience in the content industry, including at BBC Studios, ITV Studios, and Channel 4 Television.

“Studio21’s mission to discover, develop and connect the best new writing talent and projects to the global content industry is much needed as we all strive to diversify the range of stories and perspectives we offer to our audiences,” she said. “I’m excited to uncover the most original new voices and nurture their vision, building a safe creative space for new storytelling talent to flourish, and delivering genuinely original voices and projects to the industry.”

Chris Albrecht

Chris Albrecht currently oversees Legendary Global and was previously president and CEO of Starz, IMG Global Media, chairman and CEO of HBO, and president of HBO original programming.

His tenure at HBO was noted for changing the television landscape by commissioning and creating critically acclaimed series, including Sex & the City, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Band of Brothers, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage, along with dozens of other programmes.

Anne Thomopoulos

Also a partner in Legendary Global, Anne Thomopoulos has a prolific reputation in international production having been executive producer on shows including Versailles, Borgia, Britannia and The Hook Up Plan.

She is former senior VP at HBO, responsible for overseeing From the Earth to the Moon. The 12-part miniseries won numerous awards, including three Emmys and a Golden Globe. Her subsequent miniseries include Band of Brothers, which won six Emmys, including Outstanding Miniseries, and a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries; and The Corner, which won four Emmys, including Outstanding Miniseries, and a Peabody Award.

She also developed and executive produced HBO/BBC historical drama series Rome, the seven-part HBO miniseries Generation Kill and served as executive producer on Camelot for Starz, where she had a first-look producing deal.

Emma Frost

Emma Frost is an accomplished showrunner, exec producer and feature film writer, working both in the US and the UK, responsible for creating The Spanish Princess for Starz, The White Princess and The White Queen, and for outstanding work on Shameless. She is currently writing and showrunning an eight-episode character-driven thriller for Apple.

She served as showrunner/exec producer on limited TV series The Spanish Princess, alongside her real-life and sometime showrunning partner Matthew Graham. The show is a follow-up to Frost’s critically acclaimed series The White Princes (2017) and her BBC1/Starz coproduction The White Queen (2013). The latter starred Rebecca Ferguson and was nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best TV Movie or Miniseries, and four Emmys, including Outstanding Miniseries.

Matthew Graham

Matthew Graham is a writer, executive producer and showrunner working in both the UK and the US. He began his writing life at the relatively tender age of 22, writing in children’s drama before taking up a post as staff writer on the BBC’s flagship soap EastEnders.

He went on to write on the seminal, Bafta-nominated drama This Life as well as on major BBC dramas such as Spooks (aka MI:5 in the US) and Hustle, which aired on AMC. In 1998, Matthew created and wrote his first original piece for television: limited series The Last Train, about a group of disparate survivors in a global apocalypse, which was adapted for ABC in the US.

This led to more original work for both the BBC and ITV before Matthew co-created the internationally acclaimed hit Life On Mars, which won two International Emmys and a Bafta People’s Award.

Yule Caise

Yule Caise is the co-founder of Behind the Billboards, a TV development company specialising in global content. He is writer/executive producer on the upcoming limited series James Baldwin In Paris for UK-based Impact X Studios.

After winning the prestigious Fox Writers Intensive in 2013, Caise signed a development deal with FX Networks, in conjunction with Fox Broadcasting and 20th Century Fox Television. He was also selected as a WGA Writers Access Project winner.

Prior to joining the writing staff of Heroes on NBC, Yule’s work and contributions as a new media producer and director won an Emmy Award for Interactive Media Programming for The Heroes Digital Experience.

Caise also wrote and directed Heroes: Going Postal, a web series premiered in Hall H at Comic-Con in 2008. Recently, Caise was a writer/producer on Tales, a scripted hip hop anthology series airing on BET.

As producer/director of two hit music video shows, Pump It Up UP! (Fox) and Night Tracks (TBS), he was an early influencer who also served as acting coach to the biggest names in hip hop, including Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

Nick Bain

Nick Bain runs Behind the Billboards with Yule Caise. He is a Scottish screenwriter/producer with more than 10 years in the business. As a journalist and playwright, he was nominated for Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award.

An expert in storycraft, he lectured at the University of Amsterdam and designed courses for The University of Greenwich, London. His producing credits include Warner Bros globally released feature The Man Who Knew Infinity, starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons and Stephen Fry (2016).

As a writer, his work includes UK feature thriller The List (2014) and London gangster/Bollywood crossover movie Jagame Thanthiram, featuring Bollywood superstar Dhanush (2020).

Nick is a founding partner of Global Harbor Studios, Europe Film Studios, Malta and an executive at Cinema 84, the financier behind Terminator, Rambo First Blood and Platoon.

Studio21 currently has a raft of projects on its slate from some of the most exciting fresh talent in the world. It works with a number of leading script competitions and festivals to discover new talent, which it develops and then connects with the global content business.

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