Deadpan Pictures Appoints Three New Execs


Ireland-based indie Deadpan Pictures (Moone Boy, Can’t Cope Won’t Cope) has hired three new executives as part of its ongoing expansion.

Sam Atwell, Aisling Kiely and Eleanor White have been appointed head of development, development producer and development executive, respectively. All three will help grow the slate, with a focus on high-end drama with an Irish comedic twist.

Atwell joins Deadpan Pictures from RTÉ, where he was responsible for identifying and nurturing new series for its drama slate. He moved to Ireland in 2014 and took up positions as series consultant and director on RTÉ’s Fair City, as story editor for Jam Media and as an executive producer at Liberty Video.

Kiely joins with experience across development and script consultation, with series credits across BBC, ITV, NBC and Sky through positions held within Roughcut TV, Working Title Television, Twelve Town and Endor Productions. Her credits include Bloods season two for Sky; You, Me and the Apocalypse for Sky 1 and NBC; Midsomer Murders for ITV; and Casualty for BBC.

White has an extensive background in theater across multiple territories. She joins the company in her first TV role. She joins from Traverse Theatre, where she was literary manager. Previously, she worked as a script consultant with the Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre Company, Landmark Productions, Signature Theatre Company and Irish Arts Centers in New York. Her theater credits include Wilf by James Ley, Still by Frances Poet, Crocodile Fever by Meghan Tyler and The Saviour by Deirdre Kinahan.

“It’s a really exciting time for Deadpan Pictures as our team expands to support the growth of our business,” said Paul Donovan and Ailish McElmeel, co-founders of Deadpan Pictures. “We’ve assembled this talented development team in Sam, Aisling and Eleanor, who share—and will also challenge and broaden—our taste, and we look forward to bringing more Deadpan drama to market.”

“Off the back of producing the very exciting Northern Lights, I’m thrilled to join the wonderful team at Deadpan in this capacity to continue to develop our unique brand of heartfelt and groundbreaking television by working with the very best Irish and international talent,” Atwell said.

Kiely commented, “It’s an honor to join Deadpan Pictures, given their track record at identifying and promoting world-class new writing talent. For me, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to work with Ailish and Paul and the talented team they have gathered back in Dublin. I’m looking forward to the next stage as we propel the company forward, bringing stand-out Irish drama with a comedy edge to new international audiences.”

White added, “It’s a thrill to be joining the brilliant Deadpan team at this very exciting time for the company. I’m looking forward to supporting the development of ambitious, forward-looking, big-hearted television with a uniquely Irish voice.”