Press Releases — Sales & Co-Productions

January 15, 2017

MASTERPIECE on PBS to Co-Produce “Press”

Contemporary Drama Set in the Turbulent World of Newspapers

Through New Deal with BBC Worldwide and Lookout Point

Pasadena, CA; January 15, 2017; Rebecca Eaton, Executive Producer of MASTERPIECE, announced today that Press, written by Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster, King Charles III) and produced by Deep Indigo, Lookout Point and BBC Studios for BBC ONE, will premiere in the US as a co-production with MASTERPIECE on PBS, through a new deal with BBC Worldwide North America and Lookout Point.

Press is an ambitious new series set in today’s newspaper industry — its past riven by hacking scandals, its present at the mercy of the digital age and the 24-hour news cycle, its future uncertain. Bartlett’s razor sharp and observant drama will explore the turbulent media landscape through the fortunes of competing broadsheet and tabloid papers and the very different and colorful characters who work for them.

BAFTA award-winning producer Nigel Stafford-Clark, who has developed and is producing the show, comments, “At a time when both the nature and the role of the press have themselves become part of the news, there’s never been a better moment to focus on this unique world as the basis of a major television series. And I can’t think of anyone better to take that on than Mike Bartlett.”

Lookout Point’s Faith Penhale, Executive Producer, comments “We’re delighted to be working with Mike and Nigel on a series with so much contemporary resonance and relevance. And given the importance of this drama, it’s exciting to know that this tie-up with MASTERPIECE on PBS will offer significant exposure to audiences in North America on a network with an unparalleled track record in taking great British scripted content across the Atlantic.”

Bartlett’s television adaptation of his Tony®-nominated Broadway play, King Charles III, will air on MASTERPIECE on PBS in 2017. Press will be executive produced by Mike Bartlett, Faith Penhale for Lookout Point, Bethan Jones for BBC Studios and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE on PBS. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.

 

 About MASTERPIECE

The top-rated primetime show on PBS, MASTERPIECE celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2016. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer. Funding for the series is provided by Viking River Cruises and Farmers Insurance® with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust. MASTERPIECE is known for presenting iconic shows such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga, Poldark, SherlockDownton Abbey, and Victoria.

 

About BBC Worldwide North America

BBC Worldwide North America is the main commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) operating in the U.S. and Canada. The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the UK license payer and invests in public service programing in return for rights. The company operates four businesses in the territory – linear and digital content sales and co-productions, consumer products, BBC.com, and two production divisions – BBC Worldwide Productions, responsible for the smash hit Dancing with the Stars and the U.S. version of Top Gear; and Adjacent Productions, producers of Da Vinci’s Demons, Life Below Zero, and Ladies of London, among others. The company also owns a 50.1% share in cable channel BBC AMERICA through a joint venture with AMC Networks.

 

 About Lookout Point

Lookout Point is an independent drama production company that works with the UK’s leading writing, directing and on-screen talent to produce bold and innovative television drama. The company was established in 2009 by Simon Vaughan and has a proven reputation as a market leader in global drama co-production. Faith Penhale, formerly Head of Drama at BBC Wales, joined in 2016 as joint CEO alongside Simon. Lookout Point’s recent credits include Andrew Davies’ critically acclaimed adaptation of War and Peace for BBC One, Ripper Street and Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Lookout Point is currently co-producing Mike Bartlett’s bold and provocative newspaper drama, Press, with Nigel Stafford-Clark/ Deep Indigo and BBC Studios for BBC One and Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th century classic, Les Misérables, with BBC Studios and The Weinstein Company for BBC One. Other recent aired projects include The Collection, Oliver Goldstick’s sumptuous drama set in a post-war Paris fashion house, for Amazon, and Sally Wainwright’s landmark single film for BBC One about the extraordinary lives of the Brontë sisters, To Walk Invisible, with BBC Studios/Wales.

 

 About Deep Indigo

Deep Indigo was founded in 1998 by the producers Nigel Stafford-Clark and Scott Meek. Its credits include three Best Serial BAFTA winners – Warriors, The Way We Live Now and Bleak House – as well as major productions such as He Knew He Was Right, The Passion and Titanic. It has worked with writers such as Andrew Davies, Leigh Jackson, Frank Deasy and Julian Fellowes, and directors including Peter Kosminsky, David Yates, Justin Chadwick and Susanna White. As well as BAFTAs, its work has won America’s Peabody Award, Primetime Emmys®, the Prix Italia, the Golden Nymph at Monte Carlo, and multiple awards from the Royal Television Society and the Broadcasting Press Guild.

 

 About BBC Studios

BBC Studios is the BBC’s main TV production arm, producing award winning, bold, British, creative content across TV and digital platforms. We create a wide range of programming across drama, comedy, entertainment, music, events and factual. From Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who and Mrs Brown’s Boys to Glastonbury, Big Blue Live and Life and Death Row, our programmes are renowned for their quality and are valued by audiences around the world. With bases in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Salford, Cardiff, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dumbarton and Belfast, BBC Studios reflects and represents the diverse voices and creative talent from around the UK.

 

pbs.org/masterpiece

 

Press Contacts

Ellen Dockser, 617-300-5338, ellen_dockser@wgbh.org

Laura Garvey, 617-300-5342, laura_garvey@wgbh.org