Lionsgate has acquired a stake in Primal Media, the UK production company formed by Gogglebox founders Mat Steiner and Adam Wood. The deal with Primal marks another step in Lionsgate’s expansion into the unscripted arena. In the past year, it has partnered with U.S. reality producer Pilgrim Studios and is growing an in-house slate including Kicking & Screaming (Fox), Revenge Body With Khloe Kardashian (E!), Monica The Medium (Freeform), Douglas Family Gold (Oxygen) and Tracks (Spike).
Steiner and Wood’s credits include ITV’s Release The Hounds and Cash Cab; BBC One’s The Code; Channel 4’s Playing It Straight; and MTV International’s Plain Jane, among others. Their formats have won six Emmys and, in 2016, a Royal Television Society Award for Best Entertainment. Release The Hounds has been ordered for a third season with The Code renewed for a second. Both will air in 2017.
Primal’s focus will be on producing and distributing unscripted programs in the UK, as well as working with Lionsgate’s team in the U.S. to produce their formats for the UK. Lionsgate will distribute Primal Media’s content worldwide and will produce formats owned by Primal Media for the U.S. and global market.
The deal is part of a continuing trend towards consolidation in the UK where international super- and mega-indies have been acquiring banners hung by proven creatives. Following the Brexit vote, there has been some concern that inward investment might slow with uncertainties looming over how Britain will ultimately be positioned with regard to Europe’s single economy.
Late last month, Lionsgate agreed to acquire Starz in a $4.4B pact that will create “a global content powerhouse positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities worldwide.”