Free@Last TV has launched a sister company, The Format Factory, dedicated to unscripted content, and a partnership is in place with DRG.
Free@Last TV, producers of the crime-comedy-drama series Agatha Raisin, is now dedicated to exclusively to scripted content, with all other genres coming over to the new Format Factory business. Launched by F@L founders and joint creative directors Barry Ryan and David Walton, the outfit is positioning itself as a “creative capital hub,” representing both creative content and IP owners.
DRG and The Format Factory will collaborate on new format ideas, which DRG will then look to place with broadcasters internationally. In addition, DRG will support The Format Factory’s existing slate.
The initial format roster will come from the Free@Last TV catalog, including the tribute artist biography show Legendary, interactive singing format Bouncing Ball, reality TV reinvention format Nashvilified and biography format Hello! I Thought You Were Dead. In addition, there’s also the large-scale concert format Celebration, a hybrid biography and tribute show.
Kate Cundall, DRG’s senior VP of acquisitions, commented: “The Format Factory is an interesting business and Barry and David have a real knack of zeroing in on great ideas. However, one of the main reasons we wanted to work with them was that they have a collaborative development approach similar to our own: they are already bringing great talent into The Format Factory and nurturing it to create stand-out properties.”
Richard Halliwell, DRG’s CEO, added: “DRG, with its international experience, understanding of what works globally and years of successfully placing formats such as The Farm, Don’t Tell the Bride and Catch Phrase in territories worldwide, will add a further dimension to the whole process. Our support is always end-to-end: in addition to providing creative and financial backing to our own producer partners in the early stages, we also work closely with local producers and broadcasters in acquiring territories to offer help and ensure format integrity is retained.”
Ryan said: “The Format Factory is a way of using the expertise and properties that we had before we went into scripted production at Free@Last. We have a huge catalog of existing IP and a large slate in development, all of which will benefit hugely from some of DRG’s creative and commercial thinking—as well as financial support. We’re looking forward to working with DRG and showing the market just what we have.”