EXCLUSIVE: All3Media’s drama push continues with the launch of a new label run by former Red Planet execs Siobhan Finnigan and Judith King. The pair have established Witchery Pictures and have already set up their first project – a Commitments-style musical drama featuring music from Snow Patrol.
Witchery Pictures is backed by the UK superindie group, which is owned by Discovery Communications and Liberty Global. It will be umbrella-ed by All3Media’s drama producer New Pictures, the firm behind The Missing and Indian Summers and forthcoming Netflix series The Innocents. New Pictures’ CEO Charlie Pattinson will co-exec Witchery Pictures’ shows in their early years.
The duo are already in development with their first scripted series; a rom-com musical set in 1990s Dublin. The show will feature original music from Northern Irish/Scottish rock band Snow Patrol, best known for hit single Chasing Cars, and is written by rising writer Aoife Crehan, whose comedy drama The Last Right made the 2016 Brit List, the UK equivalent of the Black List.
Finnigan and King said: “We wanted to create a series with the same dry wit and warm heart as Irish classics The Commitments, or Once for a new generation – and the combination of Gary Lightbody’s iconic songwriting and Aoife’s utterly original voice has produced something that’s absolutely nostalgic and escapist yet unlike anything we’ve seen before.”
The pair met when they both worked for Tony Jordan’s drama indie Red Planet Pictures, where they worked with writers including Andrew Davies, James Dormer, David Harrower and Peter McKenna on script commissions for the BBC and ITV.
Most recently, Finnigan worked at ITV Studios, where she developed and worked on shows including Jeremy Piven-fronted, Andrew Davies-penned Mr Selfridge and the second series of The Jury, the ITV drama written by The Crown creator Peter Morgan, while headed development at Five Minutes Of Heaven producer Big Fish Films.
It is the latest drama venture backed by All3Media following deals for production companies including Penny Dreadful producer Neal Street Productions, Anand Tucker and Sharon Maguire’s Seven Stories, Fleabag producer Two Brothers and Two Halves Pictures, which was set up by Gina Cronk and Richard Bedser, producers of NBC’s AD: The Bible Continues.
Finnigan and King said that they were “thrilled” to be working with the “stellar teams” at All3Media and New Pictures, “which hold unparalleled reputations in their fields”.
All3Media Chief Executive Officer Jane Turton added: “Witchery Pictures is a perfect example of what All3Media is all about. We’re thrilled to welcome these creative, talented women to the group and excited to see what they will no doubt achieve under the expert guidance of Charlie and the New Pictures team.”