BBC Worldwide Buys 35 Percent Stake in 'Ripper Street' Producer Lookout Point

Ripper Street
BBC America

Taking place six months after the last known Jack the Ripper murder, the BBC America period procedural follows Reid (Matthew Macfadyen), a detective with more murders to solve in the wake of the infamous killing streak.

“Drama is of increasing importance to BBC Worldwide," says CEO Tim Davie

BBC Worldwide has entered a new arrangement with existing partner Lookout Point, under which it will acquire a 35 percent stake in the production firm whose work includes Ripper Street.

The commercial arm of U.K. public broadcaster BBC will also enter a new distribution and co-production agreement for a minimum of five years. Financial details weren't disclosed.

The new partnership "will give Lookout Point capital for further growth, while securing access for BBC Worldwide to an important pipeline of high-quality drama titles with international appeal," the companies said. It marks BBC Worldwide's first major deal in a while.

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U.K. production and distribution company Lookout  was established by Simon and Justine Vaughan in 2009 to develop, produce and finance high-end drama. Lookout first partnered with BBC Worldwide in 2010.

Lookout series include Parades End (a BBC/HBO/Mammoth Screen co-production), Ripper Street (now an Amazon/BBC Worldwide/BBC America co-production) and ‎Titanic (an ITV Studios/Lookout Point/Deep Indigo co-production), with War and Peace (a BBC/The Weinstein Company co-production) now in pre-production.

Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide, who has targeted growth for the company, said: “Drama is of increasing importance to BBC Worldwide and I look forward to collaborating on a range of ambitious projects through this partnership. The Lookout Point team have a great record, nurturing a culture of creative freedom and championing the best U.K. talent. Their output is of the highest quality, loved by audiences worldwide and we are delighted to be deepening our relationship.”

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The acquisition of the stake comes as big U.K. TV companies, including ITV and BSkyB, continue to buy into production firms.

Twitter: @georgszalai