'King’s Speech' Oscar Winners Hire BBC High-Flier To Ramp Up TV Ambitions

Iain Canning & Emile Sherman - Colin Firth's 50th Birthday - 2010
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Emile Sherman and Iain Canning’s See-Saw Films bring in ex-BBC Films and BBC4 commissioning editor Jamie Laurenson to build small screen output.

LONDON – Oscar winning producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning’s production banner See-Saw Films is boosting its television ambitions with the duo bringing in former BBC high-flier Jamie Laurenson to spearhead the push.

The British banner, which produced The King’s Speech, earning Canning and Sherman best picture plaudits along with Gareth Unwin, has appointed Laurenson as the company’s head of television.

Laurenson joins from the pubcaster where he was exec producer for BBC Films and commissioning editor for drama for BBC 4 for four years.

In his newly-created role Laurenson will be tasked with running development and overseeing See-Saw Films’ television productions.

See-Saw is currently in production on Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, a six-part series for BBC 2, UKTV Australia & New Zealand and the Sundance Channel, to be sold by BBC Worldwide.

It is the company’s first foray into television production having also produced, aside from The King’s Speech, the Michael Fassbender-starrer Shame.

Canning and Sherman described Laurenson in a joint statement as a “perfect fit” for their company.

“As an incredibly experienced film and television executive we are excited by his decision to focus solely on developing and growing our TV business. Increasingly there appears to be no distinction between film and television talent and hiring Jamie puts us in the best position to take advantage of that,” the duo said.

Laurenson said he had been “very lucky to work with a host of immensely talented people whilst at BBC Films.”

He added: “I'm really looking forward to the new challenge and to continuing a strong relationship with the BBC."

Laurenson’s resume boasts development work for An Education, starring Carey Mulligan, James Marsh’s Project Nim, the Michelle Williams’ starrer My Week With Marilyn, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen with turns from Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt and TV projects including Toast and Holy Flying Circus.