As television groups continue to criss-cross the globe acquiring production companies in key markets, Australia’s Seven Network is the latest international player to step into TV production in Britain. The group has formed 7Wonder, a UK joint venture with former Maverick Television executives Alexandra Fraser, Liza Abbott and Simon Ellse. Australia’s most watched broadcast platform says the move is intended to underline its commitment to increasing its international presence in TV production and new format creation. The company is also expected to mine some of Seven’s Oz output for potential remakes. Seven recently launched the 7Beyond joint venture with Mythbusters producer Beyond International which focuses on product for the U.S. market. The initial focus for 7Wonder will be the UK, across all genres. Fraser will be Chief Creative Officer. She spent nearly 20 years at non-scripted producer Maverick, where her credits include Embarrassing Bodies, How To Look Good Naked and Billy Connolly’s Route 66. Abbott becomes CEO of 7Wonder. At Maverick, she increased ancillary exploitation values by over 400% in 12 months and was earlier a production exec at ITV. Finance veteran Ellse has been named CFO. Fraser said, “Liza, Simon and I knew from the outset the partner we wanted was Seven so we didn’t do a ‘beauty parade’ or go to market. It was very important to us to be in a creative partnership and enjoy a two-way sharing of ideas. With support from Sydney, we’re able to keep overheads to a minimum and so our model is built around putting money on screen.”
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