STV acquires stake in Patrick Melrose producer Two Cities

STV Productions has acquired a minority equity stake in drama producer Two Cities Television.

Two Cities is the company behind critically acclaimed Patrick Melrose starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

The partnership will boost STV’s drama producing credentials whilst providing Two Cities with creative and financial support.

Growing market for drama

Both companies are also strongly positioned to address the growing market for drama production from the nations and regions. STV Productions is based in Scotland and London, and Two Cities based in Northern Ireland and London.

STV will have the opportunity to increase its initial 25% stake to a majority interest over the next three years.

Founded in 2016, Two Cities is led by Michael Jackson, former BBC One controller and Channel 4 ceo, and creative director Stephen Wright.

Wright was head of Drama for BBC Northern Ireland and executive producer of Line of Duty, The Fall and commissioned Bodyguard.

Two creatives: STV buys stake in production company with strong drama pipeline.

New series 

Two Cities is currently developing a series based on Michael Wolff’s Donald Trump epic, Fire and Fury, with Topic Studios.

It’s also working on a drama for the BBC based on David Burke’s book, The Spy Who Came In From The Co-Op: Melita Norwood and the Ending of Cold War Espionage.

BBC exits 

BBC Studios, an original investor in Two Cities Television, is exiting as part of the transaction.

Two Cities Television was advised by Tom Manwaring of Helion Partners in securing the new partnership with STV Productions.

“This exciting new partnership builds on STV’s growing reputation in high end drama following recent successes The Victim and Elizabeth is Missing”, Simon Pitts, chief executive, STV Group, said.

“Our Two Cities investment will accelerate our growth plan to create a world class, nations-based production business.”

David Mortimer, managing director, STV Productions, said: “We’re thrilled to start the New Year in partnership with Two Cities and excited to be working with two of the best-known executives in television in Michael and Stephen.

Top drama

“Between them they have produced and commissioned some of the most successful serial dramas of recent years.

“In addition to their significant track records of success, both share our ambition to pursue bold growth plans and build successful, internationally focused production businesses.

“Two Cities has an exciting development pipeline and our respective businesses are uniquely positioned to serve the growing demand for production in the UK.”

Jackson and Wright said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Simon Pitts, David Mortimer and his team at STV Productions, a business that feels totally in tune with our own.”