People/Biz

Exclusive: Optomen, Chalkboard ink copro partnership

UK-headquartered international TV prodco Optomen Productions, an All3Media company, has entered into a co-production partnership with London-based prodco Chalkboard TV, part of the IZEN group. Under the deal, Optomen will work ...
January 29, 2019

UK-headquartered international TV prodco Optomen Productions, an All3Media company, has entered into a co-production partnership with London-based prodco Chalkboard TV, part of the IZEN group.

Under the deal, Optomen will work with Chalkboard, headed up by Mike Benson (pictured, right), on original and existing UK formats to pitch to U.S. broadcasters. Benson and his team will work closely with Maria Silver (left), and Ricky Kelehar, president and SVP of development at Optomen, respectively.

The companies are shopping Chalkboard’s Sky format My Wonderful Life at the 2019 Realscreen Summit this week as the series enjoys a successful second season in the UK.

Silver and Benson will serve as executive producers on all series born out of the partnership.

The deal comes as Optomen continues to seek new partnerships and co-production opportunities in the unscripted space. The company has already partnered with Donna MacLetchie and her Jane Street Entertainment.

“Mike and his team have an incredible production history in the UK and I am delighted to collaborate with them stateside,” said Silver in a statement. “No matter the genre, scripted to factual to doc, their work is always bold, insightful and striking.”

“We see this partnership with Maria and Ricky at Optomen as an exciting springboard into the U.S. market where both companies share similar ambitions and sensibilities for the type of program we aim to develop and produce,” added Benson. “Optomen’s U.S. operation has an enviable reputation for its creativity and commercial nous, we very much look forward to putting our creative heads together.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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