Deadline revealed last October that Salmon had left BBC Studios to launch The Lighthouse, and Sky Studios has swooped to invest in the company, having opened talks over a partnership prior to the coronavirus crisis. Financial details or the size of Sky’s stake were not disclosed.
Salmon oversaw series including Luther and Richard Gere’s MotherFatherSon during a two-decade spell with BBC Studios. Betts was previously managing director of scripted at BBC Studios, having joined in 2007 from NBC Universal, and Neville joined the BBC in 2017 from The Crown producer Left Bank. He most recently served as managing director of drama at the production arm.
The trio are already underway with their first project: an adaptation of notorious British drugs baron Howard Marks’ autobiography, Mr Nice. Salmon will also executive produce 61st Street, the AMC drama written by Peter Moffat and set in Chicago.
The Lighthouse deal marks a continuation of Sky Studios’ production investment strategy. It took a minority stake in His Dark Materials producer Bad Wolf in 2017 and owns the majority of The Great British Bake Off indie Love Productions.
Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey said: “Hilary, Radford and Nick are three of the most renowned drama players in the broadcast field today. They share our vision to make thought-provoking, relevant dramas for audiences both in the UK and worldwide.”
Salmon, Neville and Betts added: “Being backed by an ambitious European broadcaster and global distributor whilst retaining the creative freedom to pursue a wide range of exciting projects really is the perfect combination.”