Sky Studios, Sky’s Europe-wide development and production arm, has acquired a minority stake in Longboat Pictures, an independent production company specialising in TV drama.
Longboat Pictures was founded last year by LA-based director-producer Julie Anne Robinson and former ITV commissioner Victoria Fea. Robinson directed both theatre and award-winning TV shows in the UK (Blackpool, Coming Down the Mountain), before moving to LA. She has worked prolifically across comedy and drama as both director (Nurse Jackie, Orange is the New Black, Grace & Frankie, The Good Place) and producer, including 13 network pilots and bringing seven series to the air. She has also directed studio features and most recently kicked off Bridgerton for Shondaland and Netflix.
Fea was Senior Drama Commissioner for eight years at ITV, where she was responsible for many series including The Durrells, Marcella, Victoria, Harlots, and Unforgotten as well as serials A Confession, Manhunt, Innocent and Little Boy Blue. Prior to joining ITV, Fea was an exec producer, producer and script editor in the indie sector, including World Productions and Wall to Wall, as well as at the BBC.
Sky Studios says its investment in Longboat Pictures will further support its ambition to become the leading force in European content production and a growing presence in the scripted drama space.
Under the deal the investment will aim to provide Longboat with the support to accelerate its growth and become a leading international developer of TV drama. It will also enable Longboat to strengthen and expand its creative team.
Gary Davey, CEO, Sky Studios, said: “Longboat Pictures has a wealth of expertise and experience in the drama field, both in the UK and US. We’re excited to be joining forces with them in this new partnership and bringing viewers world-class, engaging shows.”
Cameron Roach, Sky’s Director of Drama, added: “We are thrilled to announce the partnership between Longboat and Sky Studios. Victoria and Julie Anne are incredibly well respected programme makers internationally and have exceptional writer relationships. Their editorial sensibility and their ambition to evolve ambitious, entertaining scripted shows, chimes very much with our outlook at Sky Studios.”
Fea said: “We are very happy to be collaborating with Sky Studios at such an exciting time in their development. The world needs entertaining stories more than ever at the moment, and we are looking forward to creating them in our new partnership.”