Sony Pictures TV Buys Majority Stake in Ex-Discovery Executive's U.K. Start-up

Maggie Gyllenhaal in "Curiosity"

The studio buys into Simon Andreae's Scarlet Media and will distribute its output internationally.

LONDON – Former Discovery U.S. high flier and award-winning television producer Simon Andreae is returning to British shores to launch a production banner Scarlet Media backed by Sony Pictures Television.

SPT will hold a majority interest and distribute the start-up operation's output internationally, Sony said.

Based in the British capital, Scarlet Media will develop original factual and factual entertainment formats, with series and one-off specials, for U.K. and international broadcasters.

PHOTOS: 10 Shows That Changed Global Television

Andreae was most recently svp, development and production, West Coast, for Discovery in the U.S.

Titles developed during his tenure include ratings hits Naked and Afraid and Fast N Loud, as well as the multi-award winning Curiosity series hosted by Hollywood names including Robin Williams, Eli Roth and Samuel L Jackson.

He first moved to the U.S. in 2005 where he set up independent production company The Incubator, which made factual shows for broadcasters including Spike, USA, Vh1, Discovery, History, Channel 4 and TLC -- among them the Emmy-nominated Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, now in its fifth season.

Scarlet Media becomes the fifth British production company in SPT’s international production portfolio, which now grows to 19 companies across 14 countries.

Andreae will be managing director, reporting to SPT president, international Andrea Wong.

Andreae described SPT as the "perfect fit" for his company because "the scale is so global but the structure, so personal."

He added: "Scarlet Media will combine the best of British and American non-fiction sensibilities, producing the sort of smart, spicy content at which the Brits excel but on a scale and with the sheen for which U.S. producers are rightly celebrated."