Amazon Studios UK & Northern Europe chief Dan Grabiner exits to launch production outfit

Dan Grabiner

Amazon Studios UK & Northern Europe chief Dan Grabiner is stepping down to launch his own production company.

Orchard Studios will work across unscripted, formats, factual entertainment and documentary, with Nicola Hill, former co-CEO at The Garden, named as MD at the nascent firm.

Grabiner becomes CEO at the London-based firm, with Hill overseeing operations, production management and business affairs.

The company is now filling out its senior ranks, with the creative leadership team to be announced later this year. Its backers are not known but capital has been secured from a private media investment group.

Amazon reshuffle

Grabiner will be replaced by Tara Erer, who was most recently head of local original movies for Amazon Studios in the UK.

His exit, meanwhile, comes after a four-year stint with the company, during which he oversaw shows including The Grand Tour, the All Or Nothing sports franchise, Clarkson’s Farm, The Devil’s Hour, The Rig and the Jungle.

Prime Video’s upcoming slate also includes 007: Road To A Million, the James Bond television format launched following Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, which owns the Bond rights.

Prior to Amazon, Grabiner ran development at UK-based ITN for seven years, where he worked on shows such as Michael Palin In North Korea, Interview With A Murderer and Inside The Cockpit.

He had initially joined to head up Amazon’s UK unscripted slate, before being upped in 2021 to take on scripted output as well.

He took on his most recent title, overseeing Northern Europe, after the departure of Amazon Studios’ former Europe chief, Georgia Brown, last year, with her remit largely passing to Grabiner, French lead Thomas Dubois, and Phillip Pratt in Germany.

Brown’s exit was followed in March by a rejig of Martin Backlund’s remit, who moved from being head of content in the UK for Prime Video to become MD of the company’s Nordic arm.

“I’ve loved building something big from scratch at Amazon and I’ve been lucky enough to do that with a brilliant team and mighty creative collaborators,” said Grabiner.

“Now it’s time to do that again with Orchard and I’m fired-up about growing a new kind of studio, where ambitious ideas are nurtured into your favourite show.”

Hill has resurfaced having spent a decade at The Garden before departing the ITV Studios-owned company in March, having overseen 24 Hours in Police Custody, Real PD, 24 Hours in A&E and the Studio Lambert Netflix co-production Squid Game: The Challenge.

Hill said: “I’m thrilled to be working alongside Dan to launch Orchard Studios and build an ambitious, inclusive production company with a focus on creative excellence.”

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