BBC Studios Acquires The Newsreader Producer Werner Film


BBC Studios Productions Australia has acquired Werner Film Productions, which is behind series such as The Newsreader and Surviving Summer.

Werner Film Productions specializes in the development and production of original drama series. It is currently in production on the third season of The Newsreader for the ABC, which became one of the BBC’s most-watched dramas when it launched in the U.K. The teen surfing drama Surviving Summer had a second season this year, spending two weeks in Netflix’s global Top 10.

Werner Film Productions will continue to be led by Company Director Joanna Werner and Managing Director Stuart Menzies. It will operate alongside BBC Studios’ local production arm as an independent label, with both companies producing their own projects.

Kylie Washington, general manager and creative director of BBC Studios Productions Australia, said: “I’m excited to welcome Werner Film Productions into the family. Australia has an incredibly vibrant creative community and is producing shows that resonate around the world so it’s a great time to invest further to support our local production industry.

“Jo and Stuart are amongst the best in the business and have a great track record in producing smart, entertaining and engaging dramas that speak to international audiences while remaining quintessentially Aussie. Their commitment to growing a sustainable industry and nurturing new talent aligns exactly with our values making them a fantastic addition to BBC Studios’ stable of independent labels.”

Werner added: “We are absolutely thrilled to join the global powerhouse BBC Studios and the brilliant team at BBC Studios Productions Australia. Working with BBC Studios will help us continue to tell Australian stories on a larger canvas for audiences here and around the world.”

Matt Forde, managing director of global entertainment at BBC Studios Productions, said: “It has been great getting to know Jo, Stuart and the rest of the Werner Film Productions team over the last couple of years. Their passion and creativity has seen them carve out a place as one of the most talented and interesting scripted companies in the world. The Newsreader has been a massive hit on the BBC in the U.K. with viewers and critics alike, as well as internationally. I’m excited by the projects they have in development and the opportunity for BBC Studios to support the slate that Jo is building.”