Shine acquires Brown Eyed Boy

Plans include developing comedy programs with int'l appeal

LONDON -- It's already one of the U.K.'s hippest drama producers, with such fare as "Life on Mars" and "Spooks" under its production umbrella. Now Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Productions has acquired specialist comedy producer Brown Eyed Boy in a bid to boost its comedy output.

Brown Eyed Boy will join U.K. indies Dragonfly, Kudos, Princess Productions and Shine TV, which together make Shine Group the U.K.'s fifth-largest production company.

Brown Eyed Boy was set up in 2002 by Gary Reich -- the former BBC exec who developed such cutting edge talent as Sacha Baron Cohen, Mighty Boosh stars Noel Fielding and Julian Barrat and performer Dom Joly. It's current line-up includes such shows as "Little Miss Jocelyn," "3 Non Blondes" and "How Not to Live Your Life" -- which will shortly be on NBC.

Reich will continue to spearhead the writer/performer-led talent house receiving operational support from Shine-owned Kudos Productions.

The deal gives Brown Eyed Boy the opportunity to expand creatively, with the ambition of creating comedy programming with international appeal.

"We've made no secret of wanting to expand the group's comedy offering and could not have found someone better suited than Gary with which to do so," said Elisabeth Murdoch.

"He is a bold, daring, entrepreneurial producer at the cutting edge of his profession both domestically and internationally and I welcome him warmly to Shine Group."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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