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LONDON – British production banner Nerd TV is opening up an L.A. outpost on the back of a spate of commissions for U.S. networks.
The factual-TV program maker, which specializes in documentaries and nonscripted entertainment, is developing three pilots for a trio of U.S. networks, including its first factual entertainment series and a presenter-led documentary with Grierson Award-nominated Lou Ferrante.
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Nerd TV will open its U.S. production office this month hot on the heels of a number of commissions from The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Discovery and A+E.
Earlier this year OWN commissioned a 10-part series set in a dog grooming parlor run by notorious former mobster James “Head” Giuliani called Dogfellas (w/t).
A+E has picked up the Nerd-produced 12 Year Old Lifer, a documentary that recently aired on U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 detailing the controversial story of one of America’s youngest convicted killers, who was tried in an adult court and is now serving a life term for murder.
Nerd TV managing director Jago Lee said of his young company, founded in 2010: “Having won a number of commissions with U.S. networks and developing more original content for channels in the U.S., it is critical that we meet the growing expectations and ambitions the company has in the U.S.”
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He added, “It is a notoriously competitive market, but we are producing unique content, and we hope to build on our success by opening a production base on the ground in L.A.”
The American outpost will be managed by Nerd’s co-founder and creative director John Farrar and will focus on creating “high-end nonscripted series” for U.S. channels.
The British company is looking for an L.A.-based head of development to oversee operations and plans to recruit a new U.S. production team in the coming months.
German-based media company Red Arrow Entertainment Group last year took a majority stake in the indie, founded by Lee and Farrar in 2010.
The deal gave Red Arrow International, ProSiebenSat.1’s sales arm, the international distribution rights to Nerd TV’s content.
Before setting up their own independent production company, Farrar and Lee worked at various major U.K. indie names, including Tiger Aspect, Talkback Thames, Raw and Diverse.
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