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21 Sep 2018

Kew Media Announces Partnership with Channel 5

Channel 5 has unveiled a slate of original British drama for transmission from late 2018 onwards – representing its first major investment in scripted content under Viacom’s ownership.

At the same time, to underline this commitment longer-term, the UK broadcaster has signed a partnership deal with Kew Media Group for a range of drama projects over the next 3 years.

One of the first projects resulting from this deal is Clink (working title), a 10-part drama series set in a female prison, which is intended to appeal to a young adult audience and will premiere on 5STAR. The series has been commissioned from the multi-award winning production company LA Productions and will be executive produced by Colin McKeown.  The drama is currently in pre-production.  

Also for transmission in 2019, 15 Days is a gripping 4-part original crime thriller with a unique format that turns the traditional investigative narrative inside out. The storyline begins with a brutal murder before rewinding back 15 days to embark on a nail-biting countdown to find out why, how and who is responsible for the chilling crime.  The series is being produced by Wales-based Boom and is a Channel 5 commission based on the original Welsh-language production 35 Diwrnod (35 Days) which was first commissioned and broadcast by S4C in 2017.  It will be shot on location in Wales and is co-funded by Channel 5, ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Welsh Government.

Following its ratings success premiering a movie adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Crooked House at Christmas last year, Channel 5 has also greenlit a new feature length murder mystery from Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP) – currently untitled – which is inspired by a high profile, real life 1920s murder.

An additional drama commission, Cold Call, a 4-part cuckoo-in-the-nest revenge thriller starring Sally Lindsay and produced by Chalkboard TV, has also been confirmed for Channel 5’s schedule next year, having previously been announced.

As part of its push to introduce more scripted content to its schedules, Channel 5 has also acquired UK broadcast rights to Blood, a 6-part psychological crime thriller starring Adrian Dunbar and produced by Company Pictures in association with Element Pictures and all3media international for Virgin Media Television in Ireland.

Ben Frow, Director of Programmes, Channel 5 commented: “Home grown drama is the missing ingredient from Channel 5’s schedules, so its genuinely exciting to be able to unveil a range of new projects from such an array of talented producers. I hope they will give viewers yet another reason to take a fresh look at Channel 5 as we continue to overhaul our schedules from top to bottom.”

Sebastian Cardwell is the Channel 5 commissioner for the dramas announced today.

Last month Channel 5 beat BBC1 and ITV1 to be judged Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh TV Festival, after recently picking up its first ever BAFTA award.

About Channel 5:  Channel 5 is a public service broadcaster and the UK’s third latest commercial TV station.  Launched in March 1997 Channel 5 has been owned by Viacom International Media Networks since September 2014.  Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Spike, 5Select and My5 TV reach 3 in 4 of the UK viewing public each month with a diverse schedule including issue-led documentaries, popular factual, accessible history, stunning natural history, inclusive entertainment and reality, top level sport, high quality scripted programming and critically acclaimed children’s and news programming. Through its agenda-driving commissions, Channel 5 has led on societal issues from inequality to inner city gang life, homelessness to mental health, aiming to tell the story of modern Britain by reflecting the lives of people across the nation.  My5 is an on-demand service allowing viewers to watch content online for free from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select and 5Spike. In 2018, Channel 5 won its first BAFTA for Cruising with Jane McDonald and was named ‘Channel of the Year’ at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

About Viacom International Media Networks UK & Ireland: Viacom International Media Networks UK & Ireland represent 20 channels that offer the very best in music, comedy and kids programming through its MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon brands.  The brands have been market leaders across the three primary genre groups for more than 10 years, reaching 22.9 million homes through SKY, cable and Freeview. Our eleven branded music and entertainment channels comprise of MTV, MTV Music, MTV +1, MTV Rocks, MTV Classic, MTV Hits, MTV Dance, MTV Base, MTV Live HD, VH1 and VIVA. They feature the best in music alongside popular shows such as Pimp My Ride, The Hills, Jersey Shore, My Super Sweet 16 and Cribs. Comedy Central and Nickelodeon in the UK are part of the VIMN portfolio of channels through joint ventures with BSKYB. Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is comprised of many of the world’s most popular multimedia entertainment brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Channel, VH1, VIVA, COLORS, Game One and Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más. Viacom brands are seen globally in more than 705 million households in 169 territories and 37 languages via more than 184 locally programmed and operated TV channels and more than 550 digital media and mobile TV properties.

KEW MEDIA GROUP is a leading publicly-listed content company that produces and distributes multi-genre content worldwide. Companies included in the KEW family are the production companies: Architect Films, Awesome, Bristow Global Media, Campfire Film & Television, Collins Avenue Productions, Essential Media Group, Frantic Films, Jigsaw Productions, Media Headquarters, Our House Media, Sienna Films and Spirit Digital Media; and the distribution companies: KEW MEDIA Distribution and TCB Media Rights.

With primary offices in London, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney and Toronto, the KEW MEDIA GROUP companies develop, produce and distribute more than 1,000 hours of content every year, as well as distribute a library of more than 13,000 hours, to almost every available viewing platform internationally. KEW aspires to offer great content from all over the world to viewers of all ages and tastes. The Company promotes transparency, equality, respect, and inclusiveness and plans to grow with the benefit of people from a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds.

DSP is the multi award winning production company behind a diverse range of high quality productions including documentaries like Richard III: The King in the Car Park (Channel 4), living history such as 24 Hours in the Past (BBC ONE) and factually inspired drama including Dave Allen at Peace (BBC TWO), two series of The Mill (Channel 4) and We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story (BBC TWO).  Led by joint Managing Directors Emily Dalton and Donna Clark, DSP prides itself on combining passionate story-telling and rigorous authenticity across all its productions from comedy to drama, factual to ground breaking journalism. Upcoming productions include Project Interiors (BBC Two / Netflix), Handmade in Britain (BBC Two) and factually inspired drama Torvill and Dean (ITV).

Boom is one of Wales’s largest, indigenous production groups producing over 400 hours of factual, factual-entertainment, entertainment, drama and children’s content annually.  The group employs c.220 staff in Wales and includes production divisions Boom Cymru and BoomKids; leading Welsh post-production facility Gorilla; international animation brand, Cloth Cat; and Visual Effects/Motion Graphics/Interactive company, BAIT Studio.  Boom is part of ITV Studios.