Sony Pictures TV has acquired a minority stake in fast-rising UK producer Faye Ward’s banner Fable Pictures. The well-respected Ward was previously at Alison Owen’s Ruby before leaving to set up her own shop.

Ward said: “Fable Pictures’ vision is to collaborate with strong writers and directors to tell stories that are ambitious, illuminating and entertaining across film and television. This deal will enable us to focus on what we do best, and pour our energy into developing a number of new projects with talent we are incredibly excited about.”

The Sony deal allows Fable to ramp up its TV activities to go alongside its film projects. As revealed exclusively by Deadline, Ward is producing Stan and Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, about Laurel and Hardy’s august days as an iconic if faded act. Jeff Pope writes and co-produces with Jon S. Baird directing.

“We are increasing our drama footprint in recognition of the rise in demand for high-quality drama, said Andrea Wong, SPT’s president of international production. “This will build on the success we are enjoying with series such as Left Bank’s upcoming Netflix drama The Crown and The Halcyon for ITV as well as Playmaker’s Love Child and award-winning The Code.”

Ward is emerging as one of the UK’s most interesting producers. In addition to Suffragette, which Ward produced with Alison Owen, she is also prepping Country Music , with rising star Karen Gillan attached to play a young singer from Glasgow who dreams of making it to Nashville. Nicole Taylor (The C Word) has written the script with Dominic Cooke (Hollow Point) set to make his feature directorial debut with the project. The BFI, Creative Scotland and Film4 are financing. Eugenio Perez is co-producing.