Sky Studios hires Ink Factory exec as director of commissioning

Gangs Of London

Sky Studios has expanded its drama team by hiring The Ink Factory’s creative director to oversee commissioning and appointing Adrian Sturges as executive producer.

The hires mark the first appointments made by Meghan Lyvers since she joined as Sky Studios’ director of original drama in June and comes as the studio plans a “significant increase in the investment and scale of Sky original drama.”

Katherine Butler

The new appointments come after the recent exit of Preethi Mavahalli as creative director of in-house drama at Sky Studios, who left the company for Ben Stephenson’s Poison Pen Studios in September. She in turn took over from Cameron Roach just a year earlier, when he left his role as director of drama at Sky Studios to launch Rope Ladder Fiction.

Katherine Butler most recently served as creative director at The Ink Factory and in her new role as director of commissioning will be responsible for overseeing Sky Studios’ slate of commissioned drama projects in the UK & Ireland, leading a team including commissioning editors Manpreet Dosanjh and Paul Gilbert and head of development Tilly Coulson.

During her time at The Ink Factory, Butler was responsible for the creative strategy of the business across the US and UK, building scripted slates in London, LA and Asia and executive producing across TV and film projects.

Prior to this, she served as head of film and TV drama at Raw where she produced the feature films American Animals and Dream Horse. She previously worked at Film4 for nine years, where she was deputy head of film, and as head of development at Ruby Films.

Meanwhile, Sturges has worked as an independent freelance producer, recently producing the Netflix series The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself  for Andy Serkis’s company The Imaginarium. He produced Chimerica for Channel 4 in 2017 and psychological thriller The Third Day  for HBO and Sky Studios in 2019.

Adrian Sturges

In his new role as executive producer at Sky Studios, Sturges will work directly with indie-commissioned projects and those developed and produced in-house, overseeing the production, execution and delivery of Sky original dramas. He will work alongside current executive producers Sam Hoyle, Serena Thompson and Kara Manley.

Sturges will begin his new role at Sky Studios this month, with Butler expected to join in the new year. Both will report into Lyvers.

Sky Studios is the original programming arm for Sky across Europe, and is behind titles including Gangs of LondonM: Son Of The Century, The Lazarus Project and the recently announced The Tattooist Of Auschwitz, Mary And George and The Day Of The Jackal.

“We are excited to welcome Katherine Butler and Adrian Sturges to Sky Studios as we accelerate on our commitment to build an increasingly ambitious and provocative slate of premium dramas,” said Lyvers.

“Katherine and Adrian are each respected and seasoned executives in the creative community and, together with our wider team, we cannot wait to bring audiences even more premium Sky originals of scale and prominence.”

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