Global prodco and distributor FremantleMedia has launched a UK comedy-focused production shingle to replace the company’s scripted comedy label Retort.
Hare and Tortoise will focus on comedy, entertainment and factual content for the UK and global markets, led by managing director Jon Rolph (pictured, right) and creative director Claire Nosworthy (left).
The new label will look to bring together new and established writers, performers, producers and directors with the aim of creating returnable series for both traditional broadcasters and global platforms.
Hare and Tortoise has also inked a first-look deal with Manchester-based comedy producer Gill Isles (Car Share, Detectorists) to develop new comedy series.
Rolph was previously the MD at Retort, producing such titles as Count Arthur Strong, Birds of A Feather and The IT Crowd.
Nosworthy, meanwhile, has most recently served as an executive producer across a variety of fact-ent series, including Britain’s Best Home Cook, The Big Painting Challenge, The Taste and MasterChef. She has also worked as a freelance producer on a number of factual, entertainment and comedy series.
Hare and Tortoise are actively investing in rights, formats and scripts from new talent and established writers.
“Claire has an enviable reputation as a creative executive producer on some of television’s biggest formats, but we both started our TV careers making a panel game in Norwich,” said Rolph in a statement. “She still has the same instinctive understanding of comedy and comedy talent as she had then. Together as Hare and Tortoise we’ll be fleet of foot and robust of shell in the race to deliver the best new shows.”
“Comedy is full of unlikely double acts, and as Hare and Tortoise we will be looking to foster many more great partnerships,” Nosworthy added. “Just as audiences do, we’ll happily cross genre boundaries in search of great characters and great stories, mixing and matching scripted comedy, comedy entertainment, funny factual and light drama to create projects with humor at their heart.”