Article taken from the Broadcast Indie Survey, 23rd March 2012
A stunning year for Left Bank helps the Mad Dogs producer knock perennial favourites Kudos and Wall to Wall into second place with a string of popular drama series for bbc, itv and Sky
Zen might be no more, but Left Bank has been riding high in 2011, leapfrogging drama rivals Kudos and Company Pictures â€“ which slips out of our top 10 â€“ thanks to some bold, internationally focused dramas for bbc, itv and Sky. Broadcast’s 2011 Independent Producer of the Year certainly kept up the momentum over the course of the year.
Tying up with Cinemex and hbo has turned Sky1’s Strike Back into a truly international drama and the three-way partnership is continuing for a third series in 2012. Meanwhile, Mad Dogs has proved a venerable brand for Sky1, with audiences of more than 1.5 million â€“ half of them from catch-up viewing. A third series is now in the offing, with its all-star cast all signed up.
Meanwhile, Wallander remains a prestige brand for BBC1 and dci Banks has become a dependable detective for ITV1.
This combined portfolio is a benchmark for â€œpopular, innovative and quality dramaâ€, said one peer. â€œit’s got the Midas touch,â€ another reflected, praising the consistency of its output. For its status â€“ less than five years old and independent, though with a minority stake from bbc Worldwide â€“ â€œit punches well above its weightâ€, they added.
It’s certainly doing that with its next project: a big-budget international mini-series based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiographical Conversations With Myself, which it is producing with Out of Africa Entertainment and Blue Ice Films. Left Bank is in advanced development, with no broadcaster yet attached, though it is sure to be a hot ticket on the international market.
On a smaller scale, though with no less kudos, Left Bank is teaming up with Octagon Films and Victoria Wood on abiopic of pianist Joyce Hatto for BBC1. Expect a top 10 placing again next year.â€