Sony, 'Take the Money and Run' Creators Partner on TV Banner
LONDON – Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Television arm has teamed with media executives Kieran Doherty and Matt Worthy to launch production banner Stellify Media, marking SPT’s first move into production in Northern Ireland.
Stellify Media, as a part of SPT’s global production group, will also collaborate with Sony’s U.S. and international production companies on development, while its U.K. shows and formats will be exported by SPT’s distribution arm.
Based in Belfast, the partnership will also produce TV content for U.K. networks and global export, developing original programming in the entertainment genre.
Doherty said: "We are delighted to be launching our own independent production company at a time when the production industry in Northern Ireland is thriving and producing some of the most popular shows on TV. We are looking forward to capitalizing on the current zeitgeist with our own innovative, original developments."
Northern Ireland has gained attention as the shooting location for HBO's Game of Thrones, the BBC's Line of Duty and Andy de Emmony's World War I comedy drama The Wipers Times, which stars Ben Chaplin.
"With SPT’s backing we will have access to a wealth of expertise, resources and opportunity across its global network of production companies allowing us to focus both on international opportunities as well as domestic commissions,” Doherty said.
SPT chief creative officer, international production Wayne Garvie said: "Kieran and Matt are the rising stars of a new generation of Irish creatives. They have proven success in developing popular entertainment and Stellify Media will be a marvelous addition to our family."
Garvie noted that Northern Ireland is "fast becoming a hotspot" for international production.
"At Sony we’re really excited about becoming part of the region’s creative community and launching exciting, global hits," Garvie added.
Doherty and Worthy created the international quiz format Secret Fortune (BBC One) and the reality game show format Take the Money and Run, which aired in the U.S. on ABC with Jerry Bruckheimer as executive producer.
They also developed a number of original entertainment series and game shows for the U.K., including Dara O Briain's School of Hard Sums and magic and mentalism series David Meade: Make Believe for BBC One in Northern Ireland.
SPT’s U.K. production business also comprises Victory Television, Gogglebox Entertainment, Silver River Productions, Left Bank Pictures and the recently announced joint venture with Karl Warner, Electric Ray.
Current productions in the U.K. include Release the Hounds (ITV2, Gogglebox Entertainment), Cardinal Burns (E4, Left Bank Pictures) and the recently broadcast Tough Young Teachers (BBC Three, Victory Television).
With Stellify Media, SPT’s international production business now comprises 18 companies in 12 countries.