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FremantleMedia-backed drama venture created

FremantleMedia is putting its weight behind LocomoTV, a new drama venture from veteran British writing duo Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran and Corona TV.

FremantleMedia already has a stake in Corona, which Richard Johns and Rupert Jermyn lead, and owns most of the rights to Marks and Gran’s back catalogue thanks to predecessor Pearson Television’s acquisition of SelecTV back in 1996.

LocomoTV, an amalgamation of Marks and Gran’s first name and Corona TV, will look to create original scripted programming around the world. A number of projects are already in development.

FremantleMedia will get a first-look at each project, while its sales arm, FremantleMedia International, will look to exploit the Marks and Gran back catalogue. This includes Holding the Fort, Shine on Harvey Moon, The New Statesman, Love Hurts and Goodnight Sweetheart.

The pair also created Birds of a Feather, which returned to UK broadcaster ITV screens in January 2014 and delivered its biggest comedy in two decades with more than 12 million viewers.

“Lo and Mo are long-standing pals of ours who just happen to be two of the UK’s best TV writers, and who are bubbling with as much creative energy as they ever were,” said Corona co-CEOs Johns and Jermyn in a statement.

“Decades of success have not blunted one little bit their appetite to bring compelling, deeply human stories and characters to audiences in the UK and worldwide.”

“One of the most exciting and rewarding phases of our career was when we had our own production company, ALOMO, in partnership with Allan McKeown, a brilliant, dynamic and forceful executive,” said Marks and Gran in their statement. “We feel a similar frisson in getting together with the young – compared to us – ambitious and enthusiastic production pairing of Johns and Jermyn.

“We still generate far too many ideas for new projects, so we couldn’t ignore the opportunity to team up with the Corona boys and bring some extra fizz to television.”

FremantleMedia bought a 25% stake in Corona in February this year.