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Back to school for new C4 drama with The ABC

Educating Yorkshire Educating Yorkshire

C4 has commissioned a new midweek drama from new indie The Forge which it hopes will rival the school ‘Educating Yorkshire’ series together with a distribution deal from All3Media.

The Forge was established in June this year by George Faber, who left Company Pictures in March 2013 alongside fellow co-founder Charlie Pattinson. Company Pictures credits include Channel 4′s Shameless, HBO’s Elizabeth I and the Starz/BBC adaptation of Phillipa Gregory’s The White Queen.

The company is now to launch with its first commission, Channel 4′s school-set drama The ABC, which is due to be filmed in spring next year and marks the broadcaster’s first 20.00 weekday drama order since 2003.

The series seeks to capture some of the spirit of hit C4 Educating…franchise. Jay Hunt, Channel 4 Chief Creative Officer, said: “Our Educating … franchise has captured the warmth, humour and challenges that exist every day in schools up and down the country and has produced some of the most compelling television of the year. Ayub has created a drama which has all of these in abundance, with an array of characters audiences will love spending time with.”

They have recruited executive producers George Ormond and Mark Pybus, who join from the BBC and Company Pictures respectively.

Ormond’s production credits include the forthcoming BBC1 epic War and Peace, while Pybus most recently worked on adaptations of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the BBC.

All3Media International, the commercial and sales arm of the production group owned jointly by Discovery Communications and Liberty Global, has backed The Forge with a five-year first-look distribution deal.

All3Media was born out of Granada television, with three former execs of the Manchester-based company setting it up in 2002. Through a number of acquisitions, they built it into a super indie, with reported revenues in August 2013 of £505m.

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