Sacha Baron Cohen is launching a TV production company, Spelthorne Community Television, and the UK’s Channel 4 is taking a minority stake in the venture. The pact, news of which hit the UK press this evening, reunites Baron Cohen and the network behind his breakout series Da Ali G Show, which of course featured the comic actor playing characters including Borat and Bruno — all eventually got their own feature films.
The new shingle would focus on finding new talent but also possibly projects involving Baron Cohen, who has mostly turned his focus to Hollywood . On the producer side, he most recently is exec producing the Amazon comedy pilot Highston written by Nebraska scribe Bob Nelson.
Baron Cohen is launching the venture with Andrew Newman, the former head of All3Media-owned UK producer Objective Productions. Newman, whose credits included producing The 11 O’Clock Show, where Baron Cohen’s Ali G got his start, exited the Objective post in July after six years with credits including Toast Of London, Peep Show and Fresh Meat all for Channel 4.
“After more than a decade away from Channel 4 it is very exciting to come back home and back to the British TV industry that launched my career and those of many of my contemporaries – Ricky Gervais, John Oliver and those blokes who did The Inbetweeners,” Baron Cohen said in a statement. “All have gone on to have great success internationally. A little too much success if I’m honest.”