Sky Studios Signs Deal With Sharon Horgan's Merman TV

Sharon Horgan -Getty-H 2016
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The banner from the 'Catastrophe' co-creator and Clelia Mountford will develop new TV drama and comedy for the production arm of Comcast's Sky.

Sky Studios, the production arm of Comcast-owned European TV giant Sky, has signed a deal with Merman Television — founded by Catastrophe co-creator Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford — in the U.K.

The two-year overhead and development funding and first-look distribution deal with the banner and will see Merman TV expand its U.K. scripted team to develop brand new drama and comedy projects for Sky audiences and beyond, with NBCUniversal handling international sales for co-developed projects.

Merman TV — part of the wider Merman group spanning film, TV, advertising and branded content — has become a growing force across the Atlantic, picking up three BAFTAs and being behind recent shows such as This Way Up for Hulu/Channel 4, There She Goes for Britbox and Motherland for the BBC. Over the last few weeks it has also announced a raft of projects for development at various U.S. networks and platforms, including Shining Vale for Starz, Therapy Dog for Fox, Guru for Amazon and Delilah for HBO Max.

"When we launched Sky Studios we said we wanted to work with Europe’s top creatives, and that’s exactly what Sharon and Clelia are," said Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey. "Together, they have a unique ability to take a sideways look at the ordinary and make it outrageously funny while making you care deeply about their characters along the way. Let’s see what trouble we can cause together."

Added Horgan and Mountford: "We’re delighted to be given the opportunity to take our great relationship with Sky Studios to the next level, as they help us to share our stories worldwide. This partnership means not only do we get to make even more Merman comedy, but also realize our ambitions in the drama space. And we’re really excited about that."

The deal comes just a day after Sky announced it was investing in a new U.K. studio, the 14-stage complex Sky Studios Elstree, in order to get around the U.K.'s growing demand for production space. 

In October, Sky and WarnerMedia announced an extension to their long-standing co-production partnership in a new deal that will see Sky Studios and HBO Max collaborate on more original content for viewers. Sky and HBO's co-production partnership most recently included Chernobyl, whose 10 Emmy wins made it the most awarded British series of the year.