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UK indies: ITV backs new indie, Endemol expands Zeppotron

Men Behaving Badly scribe Simon Nye and Tiger Aspect MD Sophie Clarke-Jervoise (pictured) have teamed to launch Genial Productions, with minority investment from ITV.

Genial will focus on returning comedy and comedy drama series.

Both Clarke-Jervoise and Nye have defined comedy backgrounds, with the former having previously served as head of comedy at BBC, while the latter is the scribe of hit titles such as The Durrells.

Nye’s work has spanned theatre, sitcom, drama, adaptations, animation and film. Meanwhile Clarke-Jervoise has produced and developed some of the UK’s most successful comedy including Harry Enfield & Chums and The Catherine Tate Show.

Maxine Gardner, finance director of ITV Studios UK, will take a seat on the Genial Productions board and provide support to Genial during its start-up phase.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVSGE) will be Genial’s distribution partner for all original formats created under the banner.

Julian Bellamy, managing director at ITV Studios, said: “Simon and Sophie have an enviable record of creating, writing and producing some of the best loved, most famous comedy and comedy drama of the past twenty years. They are fantastic creative talents and we look forward to working with them and watching Genial Productions thrive”.

Zeppotron tackles comedy with new label Definitely

Meanwhile, Endemol Shine Group UK’s Zeppotron has launched new label Definitely to focus on creating and lauching funny factual-entertainment formats, entertainment shows and reality series.

Rachel Arnold, BBC Studios Entertainment’s creative director, will join the fold reporting to Zeppotron managing directors Ruth Phillips and Peter Holmes and director of operations Debra Blenkinsop. She takes up her role as creative director this month.

BBC Studios development executive Jon Green will also join as head of development this month.