‘Motherland’ prodco Merman TV names London MD, production head


Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman TV has followed up on its recently agreed funding and distribution deal with Sky Studios by expanding its production and financing team.

Rebecca Parkinson, who had been head of production since January 2018, will become managing director of the London-based TV Division and will also now sit on the Merman TV board.

She joined from Fremantle in the UK and has overseen shows including the BBC’s Motherland, two seasons of BBC/Britbox series There She Goes and This Way Up for Channel 4 and Hulu.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Kerley has been appointed to take Parkinson’s role, having first worked with Merman in 2018 as a line producer on shows including Frayed for Sky. She had previously worked on This Time With Alan Partridge, Inside No 9 Live and Murder In Successville, and also held numerous roles at the BBC.

Merman has also named Jackie Sidey as finance director. She will also become a fellow board member and has been formally appointed to the role having already overseen accounting for all of Merman’s output since its creation.

Sidey previously worked for companies including Tiger Aspect, Brown Eyed Boy, and King Bert, and on shows such as Mr Sloane for Sky and Turn Up Charlie for Netflix.

Mountford, Merman co-founder, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these three dynamic women to help run the Merman ship. With the TV business in these very safe and knowledgeable hands, we can explore more creative opportunities and grow our roster of talent even further.”

The appointments follow the prodco’s two-year funding and distribution deal struck with UK pay-TV operator Sky’s production outfit Sky Studios earlier this month, which covers overhead and development funding and a first-look distribution agreement.

It will also see the business expand its UK scripted team to develop global-facing drama, with further appointments due next year, Merman said. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will handle international sales for co-developed projects.

Merman previously had a two-year first-look deal with Amazon Studios, signed in January 2018, as part of its deal with Horgan. That deal, which TBI understands expired earlier in December, gave the studio first-look rights to Merman concepts that feature Horgan as well as the remake rights to Merman’s TV series.

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