BBC Studios is gearing up for next week’s Showcase event by signing a global first-look deal with former Warner Bros. Australia TV boss Shaun Murphy.
The agreement gives the BBC’s commercial arm a first look outside Australia at Big Owl Pictures’ slate of original factual entertainment and entertainment formats. It also includes a commitment to co-develop paper formats through BBC Studios’ global production network, which spans territories including the U.S., the UK, France, Germany and Nordics.
Murphy launched Big Owl in July last year with backing from Californian billionaire Steve Luczo, as we revealed at the time. The company focused on all genres of unscripted content, and select scripted and film projects, working domestically and internationally.
The news comes soon after BBC Studios CEO Tom Fussell told Deadline of plans to further expand the organisation’s international production capabilities through acquisition, talent deals and other creative partnerships. BBC Studios Managing Director for Scripted Mark Linsey is making the move from London to LA to expand business there and Murphy will provide a boost in Australia.
Murphy, Big Owl’s CEO and Executive Producer, held senior production roles at Shine Australia and spent six years as Head of Television at Warner Bros Australia, where he was responsible for the local versions of The Masked Singer, The Bachelor and First Dates among others. He also executive produced Australia’s Next Top Model and Dying For Everest and produced the Emmy-nominated Crips & Bloods: Made In America.
“Shaun has an incredible track record in Australia producing some of the country’s most watched and talked about formats in recent years,” said Matt Forde, Managing Director of International Production and Formats at BBC Studios.
“The ability for BBC Studios to take Big Owl’s IP onto the world stage is magnificent, they are truly unmatched with their quality of shows and range of genres,” said Murphy. “Working with the entire BBC Studios international team to broaden out our formats is a terrific prospect and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership for both companies.”
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