Televisual’s annual ranking of the top 100 broadcast production companies in the UK has been released, and we are pleased to announce that Left Bank have placed 11th in this year’s rankings, up from 12th in last year’s poll.

Televisual Magazine said: “Leading drama indie Left Bank was reported to be in the process of being acquired by Sony Pictures Television as Televisual went to press. It’s easy to see why Wallander producer Left Bank is an attractive buy. Annual turnover has risen significantly from £32m to £45m, and it enjoys good business with all the key broadcasters. Left Bank is also in the business of popular long running, returning series – like Strike Back for Sky 1 and DCI Banks for ITV1.

Business, says md Marigo Kehoe, is tough but promising. With licence fees static or falling, Left Bank is having to stitch together more and more co-productions and to film abroad for tax credits. An alliance with a deep pocketed studio like Sony would help it to fund dramas much more easily.”

Article in Broadcast Magazine 28th August 2012:

ITV has ordered a three-part drama series starring Lorraine Burroughs based a best selling novel by Dorothy Koomson.

Left Bank Pictures is to adapt The Ice Cream Girls, which will become the first drama to be distributed by Sony Pictures Television since acquiring the indie in July.

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Article in Broadcast Magazine, 23rd August 2012:

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) plans to turn Left Bank Pictures into a global scripted powerhouse after sealing a £40m takeover of the Strike Back indie.

SPT has taken a majority stake in Left Bank for a double-digit multiple of the company’s £4m EBITDA forecast for 2012.

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The third series of the crime drama starring Kenneth Branagh as the Swedish detective trounced the competition in the primetime slot.

The Left Bank Pictures hit show managed to top BBC1’s slot average of 5.38m (21.84%) for the past 12 months.

The second series debuted with 5.35m (19.6%) in 2010, while the first ever episode arrested 6.2m (23.96%) in 2008.

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 – which slips out of our top 10 – 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.

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Loving Miss Hatto, a single drama for BBC One written by Victoria Wood and starring Francesca Annis and Alfred Molina has been announced by BBC One Controller Danny Cohen and Controller of Drama Ben Stephenson.

Loving Miss Hatto  charts the incredible story of pianist Joyce Hatto, her relationship with her husband and the controversial recordings that made her famous late in life. Victoria Wood says: “Loving Miss Hatto is a screenplay inspired by the true story of classical pianist Joyce Hatto and her husband Barrie.

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MADIBA – A Six-Part TV Project, Based on Optioned Mandela Books, to Begin Production This Year

Seeking to produce the definitive television project on the life of Nelson Mandela, Out of Africa Entertainment, Blue Ice Films and Left Bank Pictures have begun development on “Madiba” (working title), a landmark six-part miniseries that spotlights the Nobel Peace Prize winner and first black president of South Africa. The production is currently in discussion with a short list of high-profile directors.

The miniseries, whose title, “Madiba,” reflects the tribal clan name by which Mandela has often been known, will take a broad view of the inner passions and outside forces that guided him: from his little-examined relationship with his mother and her impact on his character, to his engagement with political activism, to his imprisonment, his rise within the ANC and Nobel Peace Prize win, and his watershed election as president of South Africa. Producer Kweku Mandela said that “Madiba” will not be yet another project that paints his grandfather as “Mandela the saint,” but which, for the first time, seeks to truly unravel “Mandela the man” while crediting the many people who were essential in helping shape his journey and success.

Principal photography is scheduled to begin this year, shooting primarily on location in South Africa.

Left Bank’s hit action series STRIKE BACK will return to Sky1 HD and Cinemax in 2012 for a third season of ten new episodes, which will begin shooting in South Africa in early 2012 and air later in the year.

The third series will once again be a co-production between Sky and CINEMAX/HBO and will be produced by Left Bank Pictures. The series was commissioned by Sky’s Head of Drama, Anne Mensah and will be Executive Produced for Sky by Huw Kennair-Jones. Left Bank’s Andy Harries will return as Executive Producer, along with Series Producer Michael Casey and Head of Production Marigo Kehoe.

Two directors from the current series will return to the floor: Bill Eagles (director of episodes 3 and 4 & Beautiful Creatures) will direct four new episodes, Paul Wilmshurst (director of episodes 7 and 8 & Hiroshima) will direct 2 episodes and Tony Saint (writer of episodes 9 and 10, and Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley) will write a number of episodes and co-executive produce.

About the commission, Anne Mensah, Sky’s Head of Drama, said:
“STRIKE BACK has proved to be an incredibly successful brand for Sky1 HD, and our collaboration with HBO/Cinemax made the scale and ambition of the second season even more exciting. The third season is shaping up to be even stronger. We want it to be the most high-octane, action packed drama on British Television.”

Andy Harries, Executive Producer, Left Bank Pictures comments:
“We couldn’t be more excited to be sending our STRIKE BACK operatives back out into the field for round three. The co-production with Sky and HBO/Cinemax has brought an outstanding scale to STRIKE BACK which is rarely attempted on British television. It’s an honour to be partnering with them again for the third series.”

STRIKE BACK’s second season recently transmitted on Sky1 HD and Cinemax, wrapping with the season finale on Sunday October 23.

Series two of STRIKE BACK was the first ever co-production between Sky and HBO/Cinemax. Last year the two pay TV broadcasters also agreed an output deal that saw Sky Atlantic become the exclusive home of HBO programmes in the UK and Ireland.

Due to plot spoilers for upcoming episodes, season three cast will be announced at a later date.

Big Bang Stunts & Effects have been nominated for a Special Effects award at the Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards 2011 for their work on Strike Back: Project Dawn.

Left Bank’s Zen also attracted a nomination for Adrian Johnston in the Original Title Music category.

Winners will be announced on Monday 21st November at The RTS Craft & Design Awards ceremony, at The Savoy, London.

As Strike Back: Project Dawn comes to a close in the US, having received high ratings and outstanding reviews across the board, Philip Winchester & Amanda Mealing reflect on the show’s explosive debut season in the States:

Interview with Philip Winchester & Amanda Mealing & End of Season Review

Philip Winchester & Amanda Mealing tease the next season

Read More Reviews on the season’s finale:
“Many were skeptical when Cinemax ventured into the primetime television game, but its unique venture, the 10-part action drama series “Strike Back,” combines what the network does best — sex — with violence. In other words, it’s every man’s new favorite show.” Read Full Article

“As it (Strike Back)brings its first season to a close, I’m hopeful that the time is right for the word to go out, and that this review (which, I will warn newcomers, will contain extensive spoilers from this point forward) will help draw attention to a really fine piece of pure entertainment that’s aiming for something more than its base appeal.” Read Full Article

“To the surprise of some observers, “Strike Back” has gone on to become one of the best action series on television and a show that is more than just a guilty pleasure on Friday nights.” Read Full Article