Amazon, All3Media, LG, VM drama commission
February 8, 2018
By Colin Mann
Alongside parent company Liberty Global, UK multiplay operator Virgin Media is teaming up with Amazon Prime Video and All3Media International to commission psychological thriller series The Feed from The Walking Dead writer Channing Powell, and Studio Lambert. Based on the recently published novel by Nick Clark Windo, the series will launch in 2019 globally.
This is the first major commission that Virgin Media is funding and the first time it has teamed up with an OTT provider such as Amazon to co-fund. It is funding over 70 per cent of the Liberty Global stake (about a quarter of the overall stake). Virgin Media owner Liberty Global announced a commissioning partnership with All3Media in August 2016, with The Feed representing the first commission as part of that arrangement.
The Feed will stream on Prime Video as a Prime Original in the US, Canada and Latin America and across Liberty Global’s international platforms, including Virgin Media in the UK. All3Media International will distribute to the rest of the world.
The London-set series, set in the near future, centres on the family of the man who invented an omnipresent technology called The Feed. Implanted into nearly everyone’s brain, The Feed enables people to share information, emotions and memories instantly. But when things start to go wrong, and users become murderous, the family is driven apart as they struggle to control the monster they have unleashed.
The Feed is Liberty Global’s second move into original drama following the greenlight for The Rook with Starz and Lionsgate. Liberty Global chief programming officer Bruce Mann says that working with All3Media (whom Liberty Global jointly owns with Discovery Communications) and its drama companies is a key part of its scripted strategy. “We want large scale, ambitious shows about contemporary ideas that make a global impact and get people talking,” he advised.
“The Feed has an incredibly provocative story that will challenge and entertain our customers,” said Brad Beale, Vice President, Worldwide TV Content Acquisition, Amazon Prime Video. “Channing Powell has an amazing track record captivating audiences globally and we’re excited to be collaborating with her on this project.”
David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer, Virgin Media said the commission represented a major step forward in its commissioning strategy where it was partnering with some of the best talent in the industry to bring “top-notch” original programming to Virgin TV customers and homes across the globe. “With a brilliant team on board and an incredible script written by Channing Powell, we want The Feed to challenge and captivate audiences from the start,” he added.
“It might seem odd that we’re partnering with Amazon Prime for the commission,” admitted Bouchier, “but we’re seeing more and more of such productions. It’s a great way of getting real quality drama. It’s a case of ‘frenemies’ working together.”
The multi-territorial original programming partnership between All3Media is for four major original drama series over two years, and marked the first time that Liberty Global had agreed to a multi-territorial deal with a production company to create exclusive programming for its customers.
The 10 x 60 minute drama is planned for a spring/summer 2019 launch, with production set to commence in May 2018.