One of Louis Theroux’s first acts since leaving the BBC last year is to sign a first-look deal with — the BBC.
Deadline revealed last October that the cult British documentary maker had set up Mindhouse Productions, and now the company has announced that it will use BBC Studios as its exclusive distribution partner for the next two years in exchange for development funding.
Theroux established Mindhouse with his executive producer Arron Fellows and his wife, the TV director Nancy Strang. In doing so, he ended a contractual relationship with the BBC that spanned more than two decades.
Mindhouse aims to make thought-provoking documentaries both with and without Theroux in front of the camera. Strang will oversee development, while the company has recruited October Films’ Sophie Ardern as head of production.
“For me this is a long-held dream come true,” Theroux said. “The idea is to tell stories with nuance, compassion, and playfulness. Some programmes commissioned from Mindhouse, I will present, but for others I will have an off-camera role. And that, for me, is the most exciting part of this new venture: the idea of building a team and putting an array of different new voices and talents on screen.”
Fellows added: “Louis and I have worked together for nearly three years and our aim has been to use intelligence and humour to explore complex subjects. In founding Mindhouse, our ambition is to build on that track record and nurture new film-making talent.”
BBC Studios’ chief creative officer Mark Linsey said the Mindhouse founders have a track record for making “fearless, distinctive and popular” programs, while Strand added that the first-look deal shows BBC Studios has the “confidence in our ability to deliver engaging content outside of Louis’ own projects.”
Theroux got his break in TV through Bowling For Columbine director Michael Moore on TV Nation and went solo for the first time with the BBC on Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends in 1998.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.