EXCLUSIVE: Keshet, the Israeli media company, is shaking up its UK non-scripted business. The company has rebranded its Keshet Productions’ non-scripted arm as Interstellar and will bring it under the umbrella of Greenbird, the super-indie group that it acquired in 2018.
Interstellar will be led by Managing Director David Williams, with Jamie Ormerod promoted to Creative Director and Marisa Guagenti as Head of Production.
Keshet Productions is the unit responsible for series including Singletown, the ITV2 format that airs in the U.S. on HBO Max, ITV4’s Speed Freaks and CBBC’s Craft Party.
It is also behind two new shows: Question Team, hosted by Richard Ayoade for UKTV, and an adaptation of Australian format Show Me the Honey! for CBBC.
Deadline revealed that Travel Man star Ayoade, who directed the Jesse Eisenberg-fronted feature The Double, was piloting Question Team back in September. It has now received an eight-part series order from UKTV, the BBC Studios-backed broadcaster.
Each stand-alone episode sees Ayoade invite three comedians to write and host their own round of questions for the others to play. With a new line-up of guests every week, each show promises to be a showcase of unusual interests, inventive games and the best new and established comic talent. The series was created by Ormerod, who exec produces alongside David Williams. Tom Corrigan produces.
It is also producing Show Me the Honey!, which will see four children and their families try their hand at beekeeping for the first time. The show, which is being produced in Scotland, is a seven-part series presented by Youtuber and bee enthusiast Maddie Moate. It is based on an ABC Australia format. David Williams exec produces and David Aitken is series producer.
The company’s UK scripted division, which is led by Howard Burch, will continue with series such as Apple’s Suspicion and the BBC’s The A Word, with a refocused objective of developing and producing solely scripted content for the UK and international markets
Keshet International CEO Alon Shtruzman said, “Having recently brought all of our UK operations together under one roof at Lincoln House Studios, it is the natural next step for us all to see David and Jamie set up their own non-scripted indie as part of Greenbird. Together they are a creative force to be reckoned with. We wish them all the luck in the future.”
Interstellar’s David Williams added, “The countdown is over and we’re properly excited to be launching Interstellar with two series that give a taste of the incredible talent and range of ideas we will develop and deliver.”
Stuart Mullin, Joint Managing Director at Greenbird said, “It’s been fantastic working with David since we joined the Keshet family, so to now be working more closely with him and Jamie to help Interstellar grow and flourish is wonderful, and we’re really looking forward to them continuing with their early success.”
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