‘Northern Lights’ prodco Deadpan hires Roughcut & RTÉ alums to boost development

LR: Aisling Kiely; Eleanor White; Sam Atwell

Ireland-based Northern Lights producer Deadpan Pictures has added Roughcut TV and RTÉ alums to its development team, along with a former literary manager.

Former RTÉ exec Sam Atwell becomes head of development at the Moone Boy and Can’t Cope Won’t Cope producer, which was founded in 2014 by Paul Donovan and Ailish McElmeel.

Atwell, who worked across dramas including Hidden Assets, North Sea Connection and Smother at the Irish pubcaster, will aim to expand drama “with a distinctly Irish comedic twist”.

He is joined by former Roughcut and Working Title Television exec Aisling Kiely, who will be development producer, and Eleanor White, who has been named development executive.She was most recently literary manager at Traverse Theatre where she was literary manager.

The duo, along with Atwell, are based out of the Dublin office at Deadpan, which is in production on drama Northern Lights, alongside Belgian coproducers Potemkino. Lionsgate is handling international rights. It will air on TG4 in Ireland and Streamz in Belgian.

Donovan and McElmeel, said: “We’ve assembled this talented development team in Sam, Aisling and Eleanor who share – and will also challenge and broaden – our taste, and we look forward to bringing more Deadpan drama to market.”

Atwell added: “Off the back of producing the very exciting Northern Lights, I’m thrilled to join the wonderful team at Deadpan in this capacity to continue to develop our unique brand of heartfelt and ground-breaking television by working with the very best Irish and International talent.”

Deadpan’s slate includes season two of US show Departure for Global in Canada, Sharon Horgan and Lorna Martin’s Women On The Verge for UKTV, and Dead Still, which was produced for RTÉ and Acorn TV.

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