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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 23:13

BBC Worldwide, Len Blavatnik's Access, 'Ripper Street' Producer Team on Straight-to-Series Finance Model

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BBC Worldwide is teaming with Len Blavatnik's Access Entertainment and Ripper Street production firm Lookout Point, in which the commercial arm of the BBC owns a 49 percent stake, to provide financing to fast-track production of premium scripted drama for global TV audiences.

The newly formed commissioning entity, to be called Benchmark Television, will not produce series directly but will provide full straight-to-series funding underwritten by BBC Worldwide and Access Entertainment. The partners said the model would offer "world-renowned writing and producing talent a new route to production," providing a series greenlight to producers without having to first secure backing from a network or online platform.

"The commercial model for producers is designed to give the creators and producers significant rights ownership and to be attractive to a wide variety of production partners, including those owned by major studios and media groups," the companies said

The group said their goal was to greenlight a major series in the coming months, noting they were already in early talks with "globally recognized talent."

Former BBC TV chief Danny Cohen recently joined veteran producer Blavatnik (Hacksaw Ridge, Lee Daniel's The Butler) as president of TV production group Access Entertainment. Cohen will chair a group that also includes BBC Worldwide chief content officer Helen Jackson, and Lookout Point CEOs Simon Vaughan and Faith Penhale to develop, select and oversee the commissioning process.

Read more at HollywoodReporter

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