Coming Soon to C5
New indie, Content Kings, has been formed by Gavin Hay (co-founder of Brighter Pictures), former ITV and Warner Bros executive producer and best-selling author Jonathan Levi and post-production specialist Simon Green (founder of Green Rock).
Officially launching in February 2021, Content Kings has already secured its first commissions including a feature length true crime documentary for Channel Five and a 9pm commission for ITV. Both prime time shows are currently in production and are scheduled to air later in 2021. Further projects are also in funded development.
Hay, who started Brighter Pictures following a recession and later sold it to Endemol for £10m, said, “It’s been such a difficult year you might think you’d have to be mad to start a new company in this climate. However, we believe the spirit of 2021 is about talented people working together to create opportunities and sharing success. We want Content Kings to be at the heart of this and be an engine room for growth and be a melting pot for creatives interested in working together and being part of a collective journey.”
Content Kings has already done deals with Paul Heaney and his new company Bossanova, format specialists Imagine TV in Singapore and Fuad Oliseinde and Paul De Freitas from Greenred Media as well as several other UK and international development teams.
Levi, whose credits include factual drama Hatton Garden with Oscar nominated Jeff Pope, Tulisa The Price of Fame, Transformation Street, Ewan McGreggor’s Cold Chain Mission and Broadmoor (for which he also wrote a Sunday Times bestselling book), added, “We are very much driven by a desire to tell new stories and create programmes that spark debate and appeal to global audiences. We also want to be a very different kind of production company – without ego or hierarchy, bringing the best and most creative people together to work on incredible programmes’.
According to Green, “The reason we wanted to team up is we all bring very different, but complimentary, things to the table. Gavin has a great vision and has experienced success, Jonathan is a top executive producer with unrivaled connections and I’m able to provide the engine room with state-of-the-art post-production facilities. This means as a company we don’t just come up with great ideas, but have the in-house ability to get them made, package them up and out the door with minimum friction. This is a killer combination.
Brighter Pictures co-founder launches unscripted indie
By Max Goldbart2 February 2021
Gavin Hay joins forces with Jonathan Levi
The co-founder of former Big Brother producer Brighter Pictures and a Hatton Garden factual drama exec have founded an unscripted indie, which has already landed primetime commissions from ITV and Channel 5.
Gavin Hay, Jonathan Levi and Simon Green
Gavin Hay and Jonathan Levi have launched Content Kings, alongside post-production outfit Green Rock founder Simon Green, and has picked up an ITV 9pm commission and a true crime doc from C5. Both will air later this year, with more details to come.
Content Kings will specialise in premium factual and low-cost unscripted programming aimed at global audiences.
Officially launching this month, the indie has already struck distribution deals with companies including TCB founder Paul Heaney’s fledgling BossaNova outfit.
“You might think you’d have to be mad to start a new company in this climate but we believe the spirit of 2021 is about talented people working together to create opportunities and sharing success,” said Hay.
“We want Content Kings to be at the heart of this - an engine room for growth and a melting pot for creatives interested in working together and being part of a collective journey.”
Hay founded Big Brother UK producer Brighter Pictures in 1992 and sold the company to then-Endemol Entertainment for £10m in 2001. It was subsequently merged with Deal or No Deal indie Cheetah Television to become Remarkable Television.
He is also the “key business advisor” for disability programming specialist Born This Way Media, which was launched in 2014 by Max Barber and Samantha Renke.
Levi specialises in producing high-end factual offerings, with recent credits including Jeff Pope’s ITV factual drama Hatton Garden and BBC3’s Tulisa: The Price of Fame.
Green is the founder and chief executive of post-production and content agency Green Rock.