10 JUL 2024

Fremantle and Roughcut Television signed first look drama development deal

Fremantle will become the primary home for Roughcut TV’s scripted drama projects, with the producer working alongside Fremantle’s Global Drama and International Distribution divisions.

10 JUL 2024

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Following the news of recently announced drama “Little Disasters”, Fremantle and multi-award winning production company Roughcut TV announced a major global collaboration. The first look and drama development deal will see Fremantle become the primary home for Roughcut TV’s scripted drama projects, with the producer working closely with Fremantle’s Global Drama and International Distribution divisions. The deal was spearheaded by Jill Kellie, VP Commercial Strategy, Commercial & International at Fremantle and Tim Sealey, Chief Operating Officer at Roughcut.

Founded by Ash Atalla and Tim Sealey, Roughcut TV has created award-winning comedy shows such as “Big Boys,” “Stath Lets Flats,” “Cuckoo” and recent drama hit “Coma.” The news comes as the company rapidly scales up its scripted drama work, with a team led by CEO Ash Atalla, Creative Director Alex Smith and Head of Drama Marianna Abbotts, and in the wake of a recent collaboration with Fremantle on new psychological thriller “Little Disasters” for Paramount+ starring Diane Kruger (“Troy,” “Inglourious Basterds”), Jo Joyner (“The Wives,” “For Her Sins”), Shelley Conn (“Gen V,” “Alex Rider”) and Emily Taaffe (“The Rising,” “The Beast Must Die”). “Little Disasters” was commissioned by Sebastian Cardwell and Paul Testar for Paramount+ UK & Ireland and adapted from the novel by bestselling author Sarah Vaughan (“Anatomy of a Scandal”). The series is a tense and compelling drama exploring female friendships, motherhood, privilege, and societal pressures in the context of a decade-long friendship between four women who first met as expectant mothers.

The series is produced by Roughcut TV in association with Fremantle. Ruth Fowler and Amanda Duke adapted the series for the screen with Roughcut TV executive producers Ash Atalla, Alex Smith and Marianna Abbotts on board. Eva Sigurdardottir is the director and Myf Hopkins serves as the producer. Simon Judd executive produces for Fremantle and Fremantle is handling global sales.

Earlier this year Roughcut’s first scripted drama, “Coma,” aired on Channel 5 starring Jason Watkins, quickly becoming the most watched drama for the channel of 2024 with consolidated ratings of 5 million. The company has produced multi award-winning productions such as BAFTA nominated “Big Boys” (Channel 4), most recently critically-acclaimed comedy “Things You Should Have Done” (BBC Three), and later this Summer launches much anticipated comedy drama “We Might Regret This” on BBC Two. Previously, the Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning producer Ash Atalla produced multi-award winning shows “The Office” and “The IT Crowd.”

Ash Atalla, CEO, Roughcut Television said: “This Fremantle deal is a game changing moment for Roughcut as we accelerate our push into drama. Our goal is to build fast and become one of a new generation of global drama suppliers. And with the success of ‘Coma,’ and recently commissioned ‘Little Disasters,’ the work starts now.”

Rebecca Dundon, SVP Scripted Content, International at Fremantle, said: “Roughcut’s commercial sensibility and brilliant creative vision lead by Ash, Alex and Marianna is making for an exciting slate of original, contemporary drama series that feel in tune with what audiences and buyers are actively seeking both locally and globally. We’re excited to start our drama journey with the highly anticipated Diane Kruger fronted thriller ‘Little Disasters’ and can’t wait to surprise, entertain and inspire audiences across the world with their wider drama ambitions as these projects move from page to screen.”

Roughcut joined a collective of creatives under the Fremantle banner with other first look deals in place with the likes of Stefano Sollima’s AlterEgo, Kristen Stewart’s Nevermind Pictures, BAFTA-winning Me+You Productions, Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín’s Fabula, Luca Guadagnino, Paolo Sorrentino, Angelina Jolie, Rachel Weisz and Polly Stokes’ Astral Projection, Edward Berger and his label Nine Hours, Johan Renck and Michael Parets’ Sinestra, Patrick Daly’s Caledonia Productions as well as ongoing collaborations with acclaimed writers and directors including Michael Winterbottom.