U.K. Producers, Creators Launch TV Formats Firm Boxatricks

Who Wants to be a Millionaire Episodic Still - P 2012
Disney/ABC Television

Who Wants to be a Millionaire Episodic Still - P 2012

The partners have worked on such hit formats as "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" and will focus on game show ideas.

LONDON – U.K. TV producers Colman Hutchinson and Steve Springford have teamed up with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire co-creators Michael Whitehill and David Briggs to launch Boxatricks, a format creation company that will specialize in game and quiz shows, as well as factual entertainment ideas. 

"Formatted entertainment is the genre most associated with high-profile audience engagement, peak ratings, commercial spinoffs and international reach," said Hutchinson. "Creating and producing a global game show hit is the holy grail for most of the TV industry worldwide. Boxatricks brings together some of the best brains in the industry to originate new formats both for broadcast and for wider rollout across all platforms."

Whitehill, who will serve as one of three creative directors at Boxatricks, is a writer and and developer of game show ideas and factual shows. Beyond co-creating Millionaire, he also developed The People Versus and Winning Lines.

Creative director Briggs has worked as a producer and format creator. His credits beyond Millionaire also include Brainiest and The People Versus.

Hutchinson will also serve as creative director. He is a former head of entertainment at Hat Trick Productions and Celador Productions and worked on the global rollout of Millionaire. He is also co-creator of the Brainiest format that has had success in the U.K. and internationally. 

Springford, who has the role of managing director, is a former director of production at Celador where he also worked on Millionaire and other shows.

Springford said that "we are already starting conversations with a number of production companies to co-develop format ideas and bring them to the point of commissioning."

He said "a number of projects" are already in the development pipeline, with first production partnerships expected to be announced "soon."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai