BBC Studios launches German prodco, exits All3 joint venture Tower

Philipp Schmid

BBC Studios (BBCS) is parting ways with All3Media in Germany, ending its decade-long joint venture partnership in Tower Productions and launching its own domestic production company instead.

The decision, which will become effective from 31 December, will see All3 taking full control of Tower Productions, with BBC Studios Germany Productions acting as a separate player from January 2021.

Leadership & appointments

BBCS Germany MD Philipp Schmid, who was appointed in 2018, will lead the new stand-alone production business, as well as the company’s local sales operations.

The new division has also appointed Markus Templin as head of entertainment, having most recently been in the same role for ZDF Digital. He previously was head of show at Tower Productions, where he oversaw the production of the first three seasons of Das Große Backen.

Templin will be joined at the end of the year by head of production Carsten Coenen, who joins from Warner Brothers International Television Production in Germany, while BBCS’s Karolin Engl-Lubba is taking on a newly expanded remit as head of BLA & commercial director.

Earlier this year, BBCS appointed scripted producer Lea Gamula to develop and run the company’s local slate of scripted format adaptations. Gamula joined following a six-year stint at local prodco Bildundtonfabrik.

Schmid, MD of BBC Studios Germany, said: “We are building a formidable team who will have full control over the exploitation of BBC Studios‘ rich formats catalogue and will be ideally placed to bring German audiences the best the BBC has to offer.

“We are all excited to start working on our slate with our well-trusted commissioning partners and representing the ethos and values behind development and programme making that BBC Studios stands for.”

Format force

BBCS will take full control of its formats catalogue as part of the changes, which the company said had been made as a result of its decision to merge its production and distribution businesses in the UK.

BBCS and Tower will, however, continue to work together on the German version of Bake Off as part of a new multi-year co-production arrangement.

Das Große Backen (The Great Bake Off), which airs on German network Sat.1, will be produced by Tower, as will the spin-off versions Das Große Promibacken (Celebrity Bake Off) and Das Große Backen – Die Profis (Bake Off – The Professionals).

Elsewhere, RTL’s version of Strictly Come Dancing (Let’s Dance) will be a co-production between BBC Studios Germany and Seapoint Productions.

Markus Schäfer, CEO at All3Media Germany, added: “Our partnership with BBC Studios over the past 10 years has been incredibly successful.

“Both companies worked together to turn various formats into long-running ratings hits and significantly expanded them. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for this. I am sure All3Media and BBC Studios will work together on exciting projects again in the future.”

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