Mad Men producer and distributor Lionsgate is to ramp up its push into television production in the UK and is looking to hire development and production executives.
The company, which also produces Netflix’s female prison drama Orange Is The New Black and ABC’s country drama Nashville, is also searching for a head of UK TV production.
Lionsgate UK chief executive Zygi Kamasa said: “We want to create more British TV content that works in the UK but that we can also take back to the US networks through [Lionsgate TV chairman] Kevin Beggs’ relationships. The US networks want more British content.”
Lionsgate recently shot The Royals, a soapy US drama about the British royal family starring Liz Hurley, in London.
Several years ago, it produced Stanley Park, a TX pilot for BBC3. The show, which was co-produced by comedy indie 6 Degrees Media, told the story of a group of young friends as they went through a series of life-changing experiences. It starred Sharon Horgan and aired in June 2010.
The company, which distributes US films such as The Hunger Games and The Expendables, also backed eight British films this year including Postman Pat: The Movie, What We Did On Our Holiday and upcoming Alan Rickman drama A Little Chaos, starring Kate Winslet.
It now hopes to replicate this level of output in television and has several projects in development through international television consultant Marc Lorber, who has worked on series including Desperate Housewives and Prison Break.
Kamasa highlighted the relocation earlier this year of Lionsgate’s international fi lm and TV sales team to the UK as representative of the company’s growing appetite for British content.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in the past few months,” he said. “We want to create content out of London then sell it worldwide through the London-based sales team. We’ll start with scripted content but we’ll also look at unscripted. We’re looking to get into TV in a number of ways.”
Lionsgate is also in talks with British broadcasters over a UK version of AMC’s hit period drama Mad Men, which ends next year.
Zygi Kamasa is speaking at the Screen Film Summit, which takes place at the BFI on December 1.