U.K. Soap Producer Tony Wood Pacts With Cineflix Studios to Launch Buccaneer Media

Tony Wood - H 2013

The former "Coronation Street" and "Hollyoaks" boss has started a London-based scripted TV venture with the Canadian-based producer and distributor.

TORONTO -- Former Lime Pictures creative director Tony Wood is partnering with Cineflix Studios to launch his own production shingle, Buccaneer Media.

Wood left Lime in December 2012 after seven years with the Hollyoaks producer to expand beyond the British market in partnership with the Canadian-based producer and distributor.

“I for quite some time believed that, sitting in a British production company, we had to expand globally and we could no longer operate almost as a cottage industry with a certain amount of protectionism that has always been at the heart of British TV,” he explained to The Hollywood Reporter.

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After testing the waters with possible North American suitors, Wood settled on partnering with Cineflix Media, which has offices in Los Angeles, New York City, Toronto, Montreal and London.

London-based Peter Smith, CEO of Cineflix Studios, tells THR that Wood would do the heavy-lifting to establish a U.K. scripted presence for the Canadian-based studio, and be backed as Buccaneer looks to get its drama projects into the North American market.

That includes getting introductions to Canadian and American broadcasters, tapping Canadian tax credits, and London-based Cineflix Rights distributing Buccaneer series worldwide.

“Tony will be able to put to use Cineflix already having a footprint in the U.S. and Canada,” Smith explains.

Helping launch Buccaneer gets Cineflix Studios closer to its goal of running scripted divisions in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada after parent Cineflix Media made its name in factual TV production.

Cineflix Studios is already up and running in the U.S. with Copper for BBC America, now shooting its second season in Toronto, and a second drama, Will, a 10-parter about the Elizabethan bard, is in the works to launch Participant Media’s new TV network, Pivot.

Cineflix Studios will shortly unveil plans for a separate scripted division in Canada.

As London-based Buccaneer develops and produces programming for international broadcasters, it already has deals in place for two unspecified family scripted entertainment projects with North American networks.

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There’s also a development deal with Lost Christmas producer Impact Film and Television that includes a fresh new take on Jekyll and Hyde, with Eddie Izzard attached to star.

Wood, a former Coronation Street executive producer, says Cineflix Studios was willing to be a “benevolent parent of an independent offspring.”

“They were very happy to have me run the business, and they’re behind me. It all felt correct,” he added of recent talks with Cineflix Media principals in London and Toronto ahead of striking a deal to launch Buccaneer.