The Inbetweeners distributor DRG is kick-starting a strategy to invest in independent production companies after striking a deal with non-scripted producer Double Yellow Television. DRG has taken an equity stake in the business, which was set up in 2016 by former ITV executives Mark Wells and Glen Middleham.
Double Yellow Television will look to produce factual, factual entertainment and entertainment programming and has just secured its first commission, a “soon to be announced” two-hour documentary for ITV.
Wells and Middleham have previously produced series including Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, The Royal Variety Performance, and The BAFTA Awards, while they also exec produced NBC’s Hit Me Baby One More Time. Wells was Controller of Entertainment at ITV Studios from 2004 to 2009, while Middleham was Executive Producer for Entertainment at ITV Studios until 2009.
In addition to the investment, DRG has taken a first-look development and distribution deal with the production company, which will move into DRG’s new officers later this month. As part of its new strategy, DRG is opening up its office to other producers, offering a central London ‘drop-in’ location for creatives, with no strings attached. The facilities include edit suites and production space, as well as desks and meeting rooms, and access to DRG’s international sales and content teams.
Richard Halliwell, CEO of DRG said, “Mark and Glen are an incredibly talented duo and in Double Yellow they have created just the sort of content business that DRG believes in and is keen to support with investment: small, nimble, well-connected, very creative and with an inherent feel for what works and what doesn’t across a range of genres. The fact that we can grow our relationship in a new creative space is also very exciting; being able to talk face-to-face on a daily basis will be a huge advantage in getting the best shows commissioned and financed, as well as placed with the right broadcasters and platforms internationally. As we evolve into a more rounded content business we are keen to invest in more producers like Double Yellow Television and are now actively looking for new partners.”
Wells added, “DRG is an exciting company to partner with: entrepreneurial, forward-facing and fully understanding of the needs of a new production business. The team has been extremely supportive during our development period, and we’re looking forward to collaborating in the next phase of our partnership.”