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ITVSGE buys in Monumental Television

The sales arm of ITV Studios has acquired a minority stake in UK-based scripted indie Monumental Television.

Ruth ClarkeThe agreement will hand ITV Studios Global Entertainment exclusive distribution rights to all Monumental programmes.

Ruby Film and Television founder Alison Owen and Les Misérables producer Debra Hayward recently launched Monumental, which is now in “advanced developed on several major scripted series”, according to ITV.

It’s understood ITVS chose to make the acquisition through its sales and distribution wing due to an existing relationship it has with Ruby Film.

ITVSGE, part of UK broadcaster ITV, has previously bought into indie production companies. Back in 2007 when it was known as Granada International it took a 25% minority stake in Mammoth Screen for £1 million (US$1.5 million). No figure was put on today’s acquisition.

“In our increasingly international industry this is a fantastic time for drama production, the opportunities in scripted television are enticing major talent from the film industry,” said Ruth Clarke, ITVSGE’s executive VP, global content and coproductions (pictured).

“Alison and Debra are prolific and highly respected film producers, with world-class contacts. We have been blown away by their development slate of high end drama which will bring a cinematic approach to the small screen.”

Owen, originally a film producer, said partnering with ITVSGE had come about as television drama becomes a viable alternative to the big screen with the on-set of on-demand commissioning.

“The international television landscape has changed out of all recognition,” she said. “It’s not just that the wall between television and film has collapsed, it’s that the digital business has opened up a whole new space that is ready to house drama every bit as cinematic as movies, full of high quality writing and just as attractive to A-list talent.”