Launched as a joint venture in early 2016, Pinewood Shepperton Studios’ Pinewood Television has been acquired by media investment company StoryFirst, an initial 50% partner in the enterprise. StoryFirst will buy out the studios’ 50% interest for an undisclosed sum. The TV company then will operate under a different name beginning October 31.
Pinewood Television is headed by Helen Gregory, co-creator of Shondaland/ABC’s The Catch, which ran for two seasons. She will remain with the newly-christened company as will Christian Wikander and current board members Lord Grade, Peter Gerwe and Premila Hoon.
The existing Pinewood Television has a remit to develop, produce and finance high-quality drama series for the international market. It produced the recent BBC One drama The Child in Time with Benedict Cumberbatch’s SunnyMarch TV and co-produced the second season of SVT’s Jordskott. Nearly a year ago, it entered a development deal with Sony’s AXN group of international networks for a slate of six projects.
StoryFirst founder Gerwe said the business is “well on its way to being a major player in scripted television drama” and that the investment group will make additional commitments in the new banner’s growing slate.
The Pinewood Group’s move away from developing new material will not preclude it from financing independent screen-based content. The UK-based studios’ operation, meanwhile, continues to be a beehive of activity, hosting such mega-productions as the Star Wars and Marvel movies.