StudioCanal Splits Television Production and Sales Operations

Romain Bessi_StudioCanal
Courtesy of StudioCanal

Production divisions, including Germany's Tandem, British Red Production and Scandinavia's SAM, will report to StudioCanal's COO Romain Bessi.

France's StudioCanal has unveiled a new corporate structure for its television business that will see the company split its production and sales operations into separate, pan-European divisions.

On the production side, StudioCanal subsidiaries, including Germany's Tandem Productions (Pillars of the Earth, Crossing Lines), Britain's Red Production Company (Last Tango in Halifax) and newly-created Scandinavian production outfit SAM Productions, will all report directly to StudioCanal COO Romain Bessi.

Sales and distribution for the entire group will be consolidated under a single StudioCanal television label, run by newly-appointed sales and marketing executive vice president Katrina Neylon, formerly senior vp of sales at Shine International. Neylon will report directly to StudioCanal's president of international marketing and distribution, Rodolphe Buet.

All of StudioCanal's sales and production operations will be grouped together for the first time under the same banner at international television market MIP-TV in Cannes in April.

“This new organization is a step forward in developing our TV series activity both in production and distribution,” said StudioCanal chairman and CEO Olivier Courson in a statement. “This is also a real strategic and ambitious move for Tandem to further develop and produce more international content with European and U.S. partners.”

Speaking to THR, Tandem CEO Rola Bauer said the move would allow the German group to focus more on its core business of production of 1-hour television series.

Tandem's first one-hour series, the procedural Crossing Lines, is entering into its third season. It's second, the dramedy Spotless, premieres on France's Canal Plus March 16. By MIP-TV, Tandem expects to confirm broadcast partners for its third, Sex, Lies and Handwriting, a one-hour procedural from Saving Grace alums Nancy Miller and Annie Brunner.

StudioCanal's new structure is the result of three years of European expansion by StudioCanal, starting with the acquisition in Jan. 2012 of a majority stake in Tandem. The French group took majority control of Red in 2013 and, in May 2014, set up SAM, a Scandinavian production shingle run by veteran Nordic producers Soren Sveistrup (The Killing), Adam Price (Borgen) and Meta Louise Foldager (Melancholia).