Lionsgate has taken a stake in Primal Media, the new independent production company that was recently set up by Gogglebox Entertainment founder Mat Steiner and Adam Wood. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Primal Media will develop and produce unscripted series for the UK market and will also work with Lionsgate’s alternative programming team in the United States to to identify US formats that can be produced for the UK market. Additionally, Lionsgate will handle global distribution for Primal Media’s shows and will also produce adaptations of the indie’s formats for US broadcasters.
Co-founder Mat Steiner and Adam Wood have a strong track record in the unscripted space. Between the two of them, they have worked on such shows as Release The Hounds for ITV2, The Code for BBC One, Playing It Straight for Channel 4, Plain Jane for MTV International and Singing In The Rainforest for UKTV’s Watch channel. Their new indie has already lined up their first two commissions, scoring pick ups from ITV2 and BBC One for new seasons of Release The Hounds and The Code, respectively.
In addition to being part of a continuing trend of major U.S. and UK companies snapping up smaller production companies that have either a proven track record or are helmed by noted producers, Lionsgate’s acquisition of a stake in Primal continues their push to establish a solid footing in the unscripted space. The company previously took a stake in Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios. Lionsgate is also stepping up their activities here in the UK, having recently come on-board Channel 4 comedy
“As Lionsgate’s Television Group expands its capabilities in the unscripted market, Mat and Adam are the perfect addition to our growing family of first-rate reality companies and best-in-class producers who are developing formats with global reach,” said Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs. “The deal is a win-win as it provides Mat and Adam the support they need to grow Primal Media while enabling Lionsgate to enhance our footprint in the UK, to expand the pipeline for our U.S. business and to access a fabulous library of product that can be distributed worldwide.”
While Mat Steiner and Adam Wood added: “We are very excited to be working with Kevin, Zygi and the entire Lionsgate team, both in the UK and the U.S. While Lionsgate is a global player in the television space, it continues to have an entrepreneurial spirit that aligns perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish as we develop Primal Media into a major player creating both entertainment and factual entertainment formats with global appeal.”