Television Business International

Endemol Shine creates prodco with ex-ITVS pair

Formats-headerElliot Johnson and Amanda WilsonEndemol Shine UK (ESUK) has created an unscripted production house with former ITV Studios creative heads Elliot Johnson and Amanda Wilson.

Sharp Jack TV will sit within Endemol Shine Group’s UK arm, and focus on entertainment and factual entertainment programming.

Johnson and Wilson created the Sharp Jack brand in 2011 when they set up Sharp Jack Media.

That incarnation of the brand is effectively being wound down, with Sharp Jack TV taking on existing and development IP, and Wilson and Johnson joint managing directors of the new look label.

The Sharp Jack pair had previously worked together at UK prodco Tinderbox Television, which Wilson launched for Avalon Group, before going on to run development at ITV’s London-based production arm.

Sharp Jack has focused on commissions in the UK and Ireland, selling formats such as Scorchio, Four Heads and Queer as Pop to broadcasters.

Sharp Jack is currently working on two TX pilots – TLC UK’s Always the Bridesmaid and RTÉ One’s social experiment show Raised by the Village.

Wilson said Sharp Jack was ready to grow as a business, adding: “Joining a group like Endemol Shine gives us both the support and the creative freedom to really make a difference”.

Johnson said ESUK’s support would “open up access to a huge distribution network allowing us to realise our creative ambitions on a global stage, it also gives us the ability to deliver bigger and bolder ideas”.

Prior to her time in the indie business, Wilson led the BBC development team that worked up the relaunched Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing with the Stars) format, while Johnson began his media career producing pop videos before joining the BBC to work on music programming.

“Amanda and Elliot are a brilliant creative team, highly regarded throughout the industry and bursting with ideas, so we are delighted that they are joining us,” said Endemol Shine UK COO Lucinda Hicks.

“Nurturing creativity and talent is integral to our business, and with the support of the wider Endemol Shine group, I’m confident that their ideas will fly both in the UK and beyond.”

In May, ESUK launched a comedy-focused label, Shiny Button, but also closed Princess Productions