Colin Callender’s Playground Hires UK MD

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Colin Callender’s production company Playground has hired an exec to oversee UK operations.

Louise Pederson has joined Playground in the newly created role of Managing Director, UK. In her new role, Pederson will play a central role in the commercial aspects of the company and will be responsible for the day-to-day activities in the UK. She will report directly to Playground founder Colin Callender.

Prior to joining Playground, Louise Pederson most recently served as Managing Director of ALL3MEDIA International, a position she held for close to a decade which saw Pederson overseeing international distribution for all titles represented by ALL3. She also once served as Director of International Sales for ITV.

“Louise will be an invaluable strategic addition to the Playground team”, said Colin Callender, CEO of Playground. “She has a masterful understanding of the changing television landscape in Britain and around the world and has worked with some of the best drama producers in the UK.  She’s a brilliant executive and perfectly positioned to help us with the next phase of Playground’s evolution.”

Founded by the former HBO Films President in 2012, Playground is committed to producing quality drama for the screen and the stage by bringing together the finest US and UK talent from the worlds of theatre, film, and television. The company has thus far been focused on co-productions such as The White Queen, for BBC One and Starz; Wolf Hall for BBC Two and PBS; and The Missing, which premieres on BBC One and Starz in the US in the coming weeks.

With the hire of Pederson, Playground will open offices in London in 2015 and will branch out to look at producing home-grown productions for a range of British broadcasters – including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. The company will also continue to push ahead with their existing co-production slate, which includes a Howard’s End and The Kills series – both of which are in the early stages of development.

“Working with Colin Callender to help Playground expand its reach in the UK and beyond is a truly fantastic opportunity and one that I am hugely excited about”, added Louise Pederson. “The role will allow me to broaden my production expertise and to combine two areas that I love; television drama and growing a business. Colin and I have known each other over the years and I have enormous respect for his track record in UK and US drama. I am thrilled to be working with him and the Playground team.”