'Broadchurch' Scribe Signs Deal With Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Division Kudos

The production label will sell programs birthed by Chris Chibnall from the two-year first look deal.

LONDON – U.K. TV powerhouse production label Kudos, part of Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Group, has inked a first look deal with Broadchurch writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall's Imaginary Friends production banner.

The two-year deal follows the pair’s recent collaboration on Broadchurch, U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV’s highest-rated drama this year, whose finale attracted 10.5 million viewers.

Across the series, Broadchurch won an average audience of 9.4 million, 60 percent up on slot average.

Through the pact Kudos will have an exclusive first look to co-develop and co-produce Chibnall’s new original scripted ideas with his production company Imaginary Friends.

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As with Broadchurch, Chibnall would executive produce any future commissions alongside Kudos chief executive Jane Featherstone.

Shine International will rep international sales on any project that's a go through the deal.

British producer, writer and playwright Chibnall also previously collaborated with Kudos as a writer on Life on Mars and a showrunner on Law & Order: U.K.

Additional credits include TV movie United, starring Dougray Scott and David Tennant, Doctor Who, and the forthcoming two-part feature-length BBC One drama, The Great Train Robbery.

Broadchurch was the first project developed by Imaginary Friends.

Jane Featherstone described Chibnall as "an outstanding writing talent with a distinctive and powerful voice."

Chibnall said he set up Imaginary Friends to create authored mainstream dramas.

"Kudos and Imaginary Friends share an ambitious drive to create big and bold programs, so this should be a bit of an adventure," Chibnall said.

Recent shows from Kudos include Utopia, written by Dennis Kelly and recently recommissioned for a second series by Channel 4, and BBC One’s Mayday, written by Ben Court and Caroline Ip.

Kudos is perhaps best known for Spooks, Life on Mars, and Ashes to Ashes.

The deal was brokered by Kudos COO Dan Isaacs and Cathy King of Independent Talent Group.