Former BBC entertainment commissioner Karl Warner (pictured) and Sony Pictures Television (SPT) are launching a new UK production company called Electric Ray. Warner will head up the new venture as managing director.
Based in London, Electric Ray will produce television content for UK broadcasters and international export, developing original programming in the factual entertainment and entertainment genres. As a member of SPT’s global production group, Electric Ray will also collaborate with SPT’s US and international production companies on development, while its UK shows and formats will be exported by SPT’s distribution arm.
“It’s an exciting time to launch an entertainment start-up,” said Warner. “There is an appetite for shows that break new ground and I want us to be part of that. Whether in standout fact ent events or primetime family entertainment shows, I want creativity and innovation to be at the heart of everything we do.”
He added: “It’s very exciting to be in partnership with SPT. Their backing means we can be a proper company from day one, both in the UK and internationally, and it means we’ll be able to bring broadcasters quality ideas from the off. It’s great to have their resources and commercial expertise to hand, and, like us, they want Electric Ray to be an autonomous young indie with a hunger to prove itself.”
Warner has recruited a new development team to be headed up by Thomas O’Brien who helped create E4’s Party House and ITV2’s The Magaluf Weekender in his previous development roles at Room 414 and Two Four. SPT’s UK production business also compromises Victory Television, Gogglebox Entertainment, Silver River Productions and Left Bank Pictures.
Wayne Garvie, SPT chief creative officer for international production, commented: “Karl is one of the brightest, most highly thought of entertainment minds in British television. His vision and flair will be very much at home with the outstanding creative talent across our international production group.”