Sky Studios, Fremantle's 'New Pope' Producer Strike Drama Deal

The New Pope - Publicity - H 2019
Gianni Fiorito/HBO

John Malkovich and Jude Law star in The New Pope.

The production arm of Comcast's European pay TV giant Sky will provide The Apartment, led by CEO Lorenzo Mieli, development funding for a minimum of three shows alongside a commitment to produce.

Comcast-owned European pay TV giant Sky's Sky Studios production arm and Fremantle’s The Apartment, one of the production firms behind The New Pope, on Wednesday unveiled a multi-year drama development and production partnership.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Under the agreement, Sky Studios will provide development funding for a minimum of three shows alongside a commitment to produce. Sky operates Sky Italia in Italy, but the deal goes beyond creating shows for Italian audiences with the goal of telling stories that resonate internationally.

Lorenzo Mieli, a co-founder of Fremantle’s Wildside and producer behind The Young Pope and My Brilliant Friend, became the CEO of newly formed label The Apartment in January. The label's goal is to produce global drama with international talent behind and in front of the camera. 

The deal builds on the relationship between Sky and Mieli, "who has produced a number of international hits for Sky and HBO, including Paolo Sorrentino’s recently aired The New Pope and Luca Guadagnino’s We Are Who We Are," the partners said. "Working together, Sky Studios and The Apartment will focus on the creation and development of high-end global drama with a uniquely European sensibility."

Said Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios: "Over the past few years, we have developed a strong creative partnership with Lorenzo Mieli and the time is now right for both The Apartment and Sky Studios to take our creative ambition to the next level. Lorenzo has a proven track record in bringing viewers sophisticated, international drama, working with world-class talent on both sides of the camera."

Added Mieli: "Signing this contract is, first of all, a beautiful way to seal a long-standing and much-valued professional relationship between myself, Gary Davey and Sky. Years of work with a company and with people who have an enlightened and enlightening vision of our sector. Together we turned the idea of producing high-quality international series from Europe into a concrete reality, creating a new scenario in a constantly evolving market."