Former BBC Commissioner Teams with Sony Pictures Television for U.K. Venture


LONDON: Karl Warner, formerly the BBC's commissioning editor for entertainment, and Sony Pictures Television (SPT) are launching Electric Ray, a new production company based in the U.K.

Warner will serve as managing director of the new venture. He has recruited a development team for Electric Ray that will be led by Thomas O'Brien, who held development roles at Room 414 and Twofour.

Electric Ray is to be based in London. It will produce TV content for U.K. broadcasters and for international export. The outfit will develop original programming in the factual entertainment and entertainment genres. Electric Ray will also collaborate with SPT's U.S. and international production companies on development, while its U.K. shows and formats will be exploited by SPT's distribution arm.

Warner said: "It's an exciting time to launch an entertainment startup. There is an appetite for shows that break new ground and I want us to be part of that. Whether in standout fact-ent events or prime-time family entertainment shows, I want creativity and innovation to be at the heart of everything we do.”
Wayne Garvie, SPT's chief creative officer for international production, said: “Karl is one of the brightest, most highly thought of entertainment minds in British television. His vision and flair will be very much at home with the outstanding creative talent across our international production group.”
On SPT’s backing, Warner continued: “It's very exciting to be in partnership with SPT. Their backing means we can be a proper company from day one, both in the U.K. and internationally, and it means we'll be able to bring broadcasters quality ideas from the off. It's great to have their resources and commercial expertise to hand, and, like us, they want Electric Ray to be an autonomous young indie with a hunger to prove itself.”