Magazine article Variety

Bad Wolf Builds Cross-Pond TV BRIDGE

Magazine article Variety

Bad Wolf Builds Cross-Pond TV BRIDGE

Article excerpt

Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, the former BBC executives responsible for "Doctor Who," "Torchwood" and "Da Vinci's Demons," have unleashed their new shingle, Bad Wolf, with a focus on both sides of the Pond.

Perhaps that's only fitting, since Tranter and Gardner were at the helm of the BBC drama department in 2008, when they moved to Los Angeles to head BBC Worldwide Prods., where they produced "Da Vinci's Demons" for Starz, ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," National Geographic's "Life Below Zero" and HBO's "Getting On," among many other shows.

Tranter and Gardner launched Bad Wolf in July, with offices in Los Angeles and Wales. Tranter says the L.A. office is key to Bad Wolf's goals. "What we are doing is ensuring we aren't just another U.K. indie looking for some co-production money - that essentially what we are is a bridge between U.K. broadcaster and U.S. broadcaster," Tranter says.

Where the U.S. broadcaster is a co-producer, "they will be treated as if they were a primary partner," Tranter says. "We understand their audience and their needs, and the context of both the business and the viewing experience that broadcaster has."

Notes Gardner: "What I hope we can do with Bad Wolf is try to take the best from both cultures and industries and see what happens when you put them together."

Bad Wolf has a non-exclusive first-look deal with HBO, along with a broader relationship that helps the U.S. premium channel form ties with the U.K. production community. TVanter first worked with HBO programming president Michael Lombardo in the early 1990s on "Band of Brothers" and "Rome," and they have collaborated over the past several years on three seasons of "Getting On," and "Crime," a Steven Zaillian miniseries with John Turturro attached to star (formerly titled "Criminal Justice").

"We are HBO's people in the U.K.," TVanter says, adding that the company is entrusted to bring U.K. talent to the attention of the channel, whether working on a project with Bad Wolf or not.

One of the shingle's first big projects is a series for the BBC based on Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, in partnership with New Line Cinema. The series is likely to run over five seasons, with eight episodes in each. Executive producers will be Pullman, TVanter and Gardner for Bad Wolf; Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line; and Deborah Forte for Scholastic Media. …

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