26 Mar Seven Network expands international presence in content production
Seven invests in award-winning UK production company Slim Film + Television
18 August 2016 — The Seven Network – Australia’s most-watched broadcast television platform and a key business of Seven West Media, one of Australia’s leading integrated media and content creation companies – has announced its latest move in global content development and creation for the international market through an investment in UK-based scripted specialists, Slim Film + Television.
Seven today confirmed it had secured a major shareholding in Slim, the company behind critically acclaimed drama Legacy (BBC) and award-winning comedy The Art of Foley and founded by multi-award winning producer Simon Crawford Collins (Spooks, Ashes to Ashes, Hustle).
The new venture underlines Seven’s commitment to increasing its international presence in the production of television programmes and new formats. Seven’s investment in Slim sees Seven move into the creation and production of drama series and comedies for the British and international markets and adds to Seven’s growing international presence with 7 Wonder and 7 Beyond.
Slim was founded by Simon Crawford Collins in 2011 to produce high-end, ambitious scripted content for global audiences. Simon and his team have since produced highly acclaimed and award-winning programmes and are currently developing major scripted projects for the majority of UK broadcasters as well as a number of international networks such as AMC. The new partnership with Seven is part of Slim’s strategy to further develop and expand its slate of international projects and to work with the best talent on ambitious, high-end productions.
Simon Crawford Collins, Founder and Managing Director of Slim Film + Television, said: “Slim is embarking on an exciting new phase in its growth and, after considering a number of offers, we believe that Seven are the perfect creative partners to support us in our future ambitions. They are not only an exceptionally inspirational group, market leaders in their territory and have massive global aspirations; they also have boundless energy and a great sense of fun. Together we will be looking to further expand internationally and pursue a number of high-end international co-production opportunities that are already in development as well as fully exploit our incredibly exciting slate of programming to produce innovative and highly successful programming for global audiences.
Tim Worner, CEO of Seven West Media, said: “Seven is committed to growing its international production footprint and we want to do that with the very best people. Simon’s track record speaks for itself, and audiences in Australia, and in fact all over the world, have loved the shows he has already been involved with. He is now attracting some brilliant writers to Slim, and together we believe we will create more outstanding work to take to audiences everywhere.
“Seven is the leading content production company in Australia with some of the most successful brands and franchises. We are recognised as the leader in Australian produced television programming. Our success is built on our ability to create and own compelling content, and to deliver that content to the biggest audiences across our media platforms. We are delighted to be working with Simon and his talented team at Slim. Simon’s credentials speak for themselves and we are looking to create great drama and comedy series with Slim.”
Commenting, Therese Hegarty, Director of Content Distribution and Rights, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with such a well-respected creative as Simon and are excited to welcome him as part of our growing international group. Seven’s partnership with Slim Film + Television builds on the increasing market presence for Seven West Media that includes Australia’s largest production company, 7 Productions, 7 Wonder in the United Kingdom and 7 Beyond in the United States.
“It also further confirms Seven’s leadership in the creation and production of highly successful programming, including original titles such as Home and Away, My Kitchen Rules, Border Security, A Place To Call Home, House Rules and Packed to the Rafters. My Kitchen Rules has been commissioned across multiple territories including the key markets of the United Kingdom and the United States. We are continuing to see significant opportunities for further growth with Seven’s original formats and produced programmes now sold into more than 130 markets around the world.”
As part of Seven’s investment deal, BBC Worldwide, which held a 25% stake in Slim, is exiting the company.
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About Simon Crawford Collins
Simon Crawford Collins is one of the most experienced producers of successful television drama working in the UK. Former Joint Managing Director of Kudos, Simon was instrumental in the company’s meteoric rise, having developed and produced its first hit show the BAFTA, and multi-award winning, international series Spooks, before going on to produce the company’s next hit series Hustle and then exec produce Ashes to Ashes.
During his time at Kudos as producer, Head of Drama and finally Joint Managing Director, Simon developed and oversaw over 250 hours of channel defining series. In November 2011, Simon decided to start his own company Slim Film + Television, to follow his passion to be more closely involved again with the development and production of ground-breaking and entertaining series – and vitally to get back to the best part of the job, namely being in a room with inspirational writers generating great ideas.
About Slim Film + Television
Slim specialises in developing intelligent, confident and ambitious content. Slim already works with some of the most talented writers in the business, ranging from established A-list talent to exciting new writers on an ambitious and diverse development slate. Current projects include both contemporary and period returning drama series, major international collaborations, classic six-part series, short-form event pieces and half hour comedy series.
Slim was set up in November 2011 by Simon Crawford Collins to produce high-end drama, scripted comedy and major international co-productions. Simon was previously joint Managing Director at Kudos where he produced some of the most era-defining long-running dramas of recent years including Spooks, Hustle and Ashes to Ashes. Simon oversees a team of highly creative and successful producers that include Head of Development, Victoria Brown (The Crimson Field, The Hour, Hustle). Slim Film + Television most recently produced gripping espionage drama Legacy for the BBC and award-winning comedy short The Art of Foley.
Seven is Australia’s most-watched broadcast television platform. Seven – with Seven, 7TWO, 7mate and 7flix – continues to lead in primetime, building on its market-leading performance over the past ten years. The network is expanding its presence in media, driving its leadership in the creation of content and delivering that content anywhere, anytime to the biggest audiences. The company is expanding its presence in the further delivery of its video and publishing content beyond its digital broadcast channels and across an array of platforms, Seven has also secured a major presence in subscription video on demand through its Presto joint venture with Foxtel.
Seven is now creating more content than at any time in its history and is expanding its presence in international content production with the formation of two international production companies: 7Wonder and 7Beyond and is proud to add Slim Film + Television to its content creation group. These businesses underline a key part of its strategy for today and in the future: the expansion of our leadership in the production of content.
Seven is a key business of Seven West Media, Australia’s leading multiple platform media company which has a market-leading presence in broadcast television, magazine and newspaper publishing and online. The company is the home of many of Australia’s best performing media businesses – Seven, 7TWO and 7mate, Pacific Magazines, West Australian Newspapers and Yahoo7, and the biggest content brands including My Kitchen Rules, The X Factor, Home and Away, Sunrise, the Australian Football League, the Olympic Games, Better Homes and Gardens, marie claire, New Idea, Who, The West Australian, Presto, the West Australian, Presto and PLUS7.
Leadership in Content
Seven is a recognised as a leader in the development and production of Australian television. We are driving our own future with the programmes and content we create and leverage, and we are making deliberate and considered moves into new opportunities not only for our own primary market in Australia but increasingly in international markets.
This year Seven Productions will commission, create and produce nearly 700 hours of television as an acknowledged leader in the production of scripted, entertainment, reality, observational documentaries and children’s programming – with major projects including My Kitchen Rules, Border Security, House Rules, Home and Away, and A Place to Call Home. Seven will launch a number of original, new titles over the coming period including Zumbo’s Just Desserts, Yummy Mummies and Australia’s Cheapest Weddings.
Seven’s scripted series A Place To Call Home will shortly commence its fourth season on Foxtel and our partnership with Foxtel is an important cornerstone in the continuing rapid development of our production business and builds on the international success of our programmes. Home and Away is now seen in more than 70 international markets including Channel 5 in the UK. My Kitchen Rules is now production in a number of international territories including the key markets of the USA and UK. Australian episodes have also been sold into more than 150 territories.
We are also expanding our presence in international content production with the formation of two new production companies: 7 Wonder and 7 Beyond. These two new businesses underline a key part of our strategy for today and in the future: the expansion of our presence in the production of content. 7 Beyond is now in production of a new season of My Lottery Dream Home for HGTV in the US market. More than 13 million viewers tuned in to the first season of the series. The 10 episode second season is due to premiere in January 2017. 7 Wonder has secured a raft of new commissions in the UK market that include a local version of My Kitchen Rules and Over My Dead Body for Channel 4 and Back to the Land for BBC2.
These developments in major international markets confirm our success in production and underline most importantly how our people are driving a growth business for Seven Productions. This business is expanding dramatically. A key focus for us is taking our ideas and our content further into international markets with Seven Productions, 7 Wonder and 7 Beyond, and now Slim Film + Television.