Banijay Group, the leading creator, producer and distributor of worldwide content, has today announced the addition of new scripted outfit, Neon Ink, founded by former ITV Studios creative drama execs Kate Lewis and Julia Walsh.
Neon Ink is a joint venture with Banijay and becomes the fourth scripted production company to be added to Banijay’s UK division in the last year. Neon Ink will operate out of Banijay’s central London drama hub on John Adam Street.
Lewis and Walsh previously worked together at ITV Studios as Executive Producer and Development Head respectively and are already building an ambitious slate of bold and authored mainstream shows.
During their time at ITV, the pair were instrumental in building a prolific drama slate that included long running hits such as Mr. Selfridge and Vera, along with high profile event pieces including Marchlands and A Mother’s Son.
Kate and Julia said: “We are delighted to be part of Banijay’s ambitious new plans for producing drama out of the UK. We were particularly drawn to the dynamic, creative culture at Banijay and by their keen appetite to co-produce in Europe and the rest of the world.”
The pair are working with some of the UK’s most sought after writing talent and their burgeoning slate includes The Harvest, a compelling domestic noir from Born to Kill’s Kate Ashfield and novelist Grant Gillespie, set in Birmingham & Southern Australia.
The addition of Neon Ink marks Banijay’s continued momentum in the scripted genre and follows the launch of BlackLight TV, Fearless Minds, and Yellow Bird UK in 2017.
Takis Candilis, Head of Fiction, Banijay Group said: “We are very excited and proud to team up with Kate and Julia and welcome them to the Banijay Group; the industry response we’ve had to the addition of Neon Ink has already been fantastic. We’re delighted that they are now part of our portfolio of diverse scripted companies and we really can’t wait to see what the coming year holds for Banijay scripted.”
Peter Langenberg, COO Banijay Group said: “We are thrilled that Kate and Julia have brought Neon Ink to the Banijay family, they are an exceptionally talented team with unrivalled contacts in the scripted genre, and an exciting development slate. Neon Ink are a fantastic addition to our UK drama hub formed of BlackLight, Fearless Minds and YellowBird UK, and we look forward to adopting a similar growth strategy for non-scripted start-ups as we head into 2018.”
Lewis was Executive Producer, ITV Studios Drama from 2007 to 2016 where she ran her own bespoke development slate and brings over 20 years of experience of developing and producing high quality mainstream drama. With credits for over 70 hours of UK drama, she has a track record in making original, critically acclaimed mini-series such as award-winning Blackpool, and ratings hit, Marchlands, alongside returning series with huge international appeal. Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn, has sold around the world and is now in its 8th season, and Mr Selfridge (4 seasons) has sold to over 225 territories.
Walsh was previously Head of Development, ITV Studios Drama, and has a wealth of experience developing series and serials through to commission including Vera, Jericho, Breathless, Dark Heart and A Mother’s Son. Prior to ITV, Walsh was a Script Editor at BBC Drama Serials where her credits included Gwyneth Hughes’ Five Days, Joe Penhall’s The Long Firm and Andrew Davies’ Sense and Sensibility.