Versailles producers to invest in UK drama

By Nathaniel Dalby - Tue 16th May 2017 News

The French company has big plans for UK drama.

The producers of hit costume drama Versailles have announced plans to invest in UK TV.

Newen Group, the production company that works with the BBC to make Versailles, has said that it is launching a €50m fund in order to make English-language drama.

The move is said to be inspired by the Brexit vote, which has seen the pound weaken - making TV shows up to 10% cheaper to make. 

The group will open an office in London and aims to tap the UK market with a look to making €1.5m-€3m per episode projects.

The company has made a number of dramas that have fared well on UK TV, with shows such as Braquo and Spiral paving the way for Scandinavian dramas The Killing and Borgen.

Versailles is the most expensive French drama ever made and has been popular with BBC viewers.

Christophe Nobileau, managing director of Newen, said that the change in the UK economy made creating UK shows a viable option.

“We considered that the cost in the UK was too much [pre-Brexit]. A show that would cost say €1m an episode in France would cost maybe €1.3m to make in the UK. The change in the exchange rate we have seen is going to help shows made in the UK to be a little more affordable”.

As well as creating original UK drama, Newen is also aiming to bring more French programming from the 30-plus production companies it owns to the UK.

UK drama has seen a recent boost in budgets, with English-language programming commanding up to twice the price when selling to international markets like the US.

The British Film Institute claimed that the figure for UK TV production has almost doubled from £252m to nearly £500m.

You can watch the first series of Versailles on Amazon Prime Video right now.

Source: Guardian