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BBC Studios label River Pictures launches in Liverpool and London

BBC Studios has officially launched a new scripted production company, River Pictures, which will be based in Liverpool and London.

It’ll be led by Andrew Morrissey and Michael Parkes, who are both Executive Producers on Jimmy McGovern’s Time, as well as the RTE hit, Smother.

The name takes inspiration from the Mersey and Thames and one of its key remits will be to bring “strong regional voices to screen.”

“We’re very proud of the shows we have made with the team at BBC Studios and hugely excited for this new chapter and the commitment to making bold, ambitious, and characterful drama in an environment that is creatively supportive,” said the pair.

“Having a base in Liverpool, as well as London, will allow us to build on the strong creative relationships we have established in the North West when making Time and Kidnapped. We can’t wait to get going.”

Next year they have 2 major commissions, the first is Irish crime series, Blackshore, for RTE, plus the aforementioned Kidnapped for BBC Three – which tells the story of Chloe Ayling, a British model who was abducted in Italy in 2017.

“Andrew and Michael are two incredibly talented storytellers who can deliver authentic, complicated stories that have impact in a way that is thought provoking and always accessible to a wide audience,” added Mark Linsey, BBC Studios’ President Scripted Productions.

“Aside from their current productions they have an exciting slate of titles and I can’t wait to see it coming to fruition under their new label.”

Prior to joining BBC Studios, Morrissey was a script editor and then LA Productions’ Head of Development, working on shows including Broken, Moving On and Reg.

Parke was Development Producer and later Executive Producer at Ecosse Films, working on He Kills Coppers (ITV), five series of RAW (RTE), Life of Crime (ITV) and Fleming (Sky Atlantic).

River Pictures opens its doors later this year.

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