Endemol is expanding its scripted programming business with the acquisition of Wales-based drama production house Artists Studio. The company makes such series as Gillian Anderson-starrer The Fall for BBC Two, the channel’s most successful drama ever with more than 4M viewers per episode during the first season run. Under the deal, Endemol will distribute Artists Studio product including the 2nd season of The Fall which goes into production this year; as well as other projects in development for UK and U.S. broadcasters. Previous Artists Studio credits include Combat Hospital for ABC and Thorne for Sky UK. Gub Neal (Prime Suspect, Queer As Folk) co-founded Artists Studio in 2009 with former Box TV colleagues Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin. Artists Studio will come under the Endemol UK banner. The acquisition also includes Far Moor Media, an executive producer packaging service for international drama producers whose credits include the currently filming Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for BBC One and BBC America. Endemol has grown its scripted business by 75% in the last five years, and this deal is part of the increasing trend towards consolidation in the indie production sector. Over the past 18 months, there has been a raft of acquisitions by the likes of ITV, Red Arrow and the U.S. studios including Warner Bros and Sony.
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