Sony Pictures Television has taken a minority stake in UK production banner Blueprint Television. The new venture led by Pete Czernin and Graham Broadbent of Blueprint Pictures, which has enjoyed global success with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for Fox, will focus on high end, returning drama series that originate in the UK and can travel internationally, with SPT distributing around the globe.

The investment further builds on SPT’s strategy to increase its drama footprint in order to meet the increasing demand for high end drama around the world. In March, Sony acquired a minority stake in fast-rising UK producer Faye Ward’s banner Fable Pictures. Sony also has a majority stake in UK banner Left Bank Pictures, which is producing the $100 million event Netflix series The Crown, following the long reign of current monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

Co-Chairmen Broadbent and Czernin and Managing Director Diarmuid McKeown will team up with executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins, who joins as Head of Television following his time at the helm of BAFTA-winning EastEnders  and before that Head of Development at Kudos’ Lovely Day, where he developed Grantchester.

“Pete and Graham are exactly the kind of people we want to partner with — hugely creative and highly motivated,” said Andrea Wong, President, International Production. “They already have an incredibly strong development slate and we can’t wait to help them realize their vision for Blueprint Television.”

Pete Czernin said: “We’re excited to extend Blueprint’s reach to attract the best talent to tell longer form and returning stories. Working with Sony and Andrea and Wayne helps us fulfil the same ambitions we have when we make theatrical films: to entertain audiences around the world with the best stories.”

The TV deal with Sony gives Blueprint, one of the UK’s most dynamic companies, some extra muscle to go alongside the strategic relationship it has on the film side with pan-Euro major Studio Canal. Studio Canal and Blueprint currently have James Marsh’s Donald Crowthurst biopic starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz in post. The two companies are also developing Dan Mazer comedy Three Miles North of Molkom, a feature project inspired by Robert Cannan and Corinna McFarlane’s docu. Studio Canal and Blueprint have also acquired Matt Haig’s acclaimed novel A Boy Called ChristmasThe book follows the early life of Father Christmas.